The 5 Best Hiking Trails in Itasca State Park
There are many ways to explore serene Itasca State Park, the “Father of Waters.” What starts as a gentle Lake Itasca-fed stream eventually expands, gushes, and spills into the Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi River flows through 10 states, but none celebrate its magnificence more than the great state of Minnesota. With nearly 33,000 acres of pristine wilderness readily available, Itasca State Park allures history buffs, cyclists, paddlers, and hikers alike. Today, we’re going to map out five can’t-miss hiking trails in Itasca State Park, which just happens to be a short jaunt from Little Norway Resort, a historic basecamp located along the banks of peaceful Little Mantrap Lake.
The Prettiest Hiking Trails in Itasca State Park
Itasca State Park remains one of the best places to hike in Minnesota because it caters to adventurers of all ages and skill levels. There’s little to no elevation gain, and yet the terrain is as spellbinding as any North Shore mountain, Mississippi River bluff, or Twin City park. The prettiest hiking trails in Itasca State Park range from isolated to heavily-trafficked. Upon arrival, simply snag a trail map, find an appropriate parking lot, and start trekking through the densely-thicketed forestry. Helpful hint: Most of these excursions are easily accessible from the Forest Inn parking lot.
Bonus Backpacking Destinations
If you’ve run out of explorable real estate at Itasca State Park, we highly recommend three other oft-overlooked hiking destinations. The Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge boasts a diverse array of multi-purpose trails that swing around several lakes en route to marshlands, flats, and remote rivers. A few months back, we touched on the sheer beauty of the Heartland State Trail. And, while it’s mostly utilized by bicyclists, hikers can always pick up the trail wherever’s most convenient. The nearby Two Inlets State Forest, meanwhile, is an ATVing and hunting mecca. Hikers and birders are also welcome to explore the lush topography—remember to apply ample tick repellant.
The Coziest Lake Cabin Rentals in Minnesota
We hope that these five hiking trails in Itasca State Park amplify your upcoming getaway to Little Norway Resort. There’s still plenty of time to book a last-minute autumnal escape. We have limited availability, particularly if you’re looking for a midweek stay (or “workcation”) with the kids. After all, we have complimentary Wi-Fi across the resort grounds. Most folks fill their days with bicycling adventures, largemouth bass fishing, and a bevy of paddling pursuits. Don’t forget to take a peek at last month’s fall foliage guide before your arrival! Please give us a call today at 218-732-5480 (or check availability online).“Leaf peeping” isn’t a universally accepted phrase. However, it’s a widely beloved activity in many countries, including Japan, where the expression is known as “momijigari.” During autumn’s peak, leaf peeping is a way of life for many Midwesterners, particularly Northern Minnesotans. There’s just something heartwarming about observing the landscape’s subtle transformation from emerald to a vibrant meld of marigold, amber, crimson, and kelly green. While leaf peeping is only one of many quintessential fall activities in Minnesota, it’s undoubtedly the most popular mid-day pleasure for couples and families alike.