Itasca is Minnesota’s oldest state park, it is here the mighty Mississippi begins its 2,552-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico.

Lake Itasca is a small glacial lake approximately 1.8 square miles in area. It is notable for being the headwaters of the Mississippi River.

A low concrete dam was built at the outlet. Most visitors are unaware of the dam, which is 44 feet long, 7 feet wide and unseen. Its purpose is not to dam the lake but stabilize the outflow. The dam is topped with rocks. It’s an unofficial rite of passage for visitors to walk across the rocks.
The park is also known for camping & hiking.

Learn more: Itasca State Park

Fun Fact: The Mississippi Headwaters is the source of drinking water for one-quarter of the state’s residents.

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