Walk Across the Mississippi River in Itasca SP
Minnesota › Itasca State Park Visitors Center
Added by Alex Anderson
This an amazing but very easy hike. The hike is not only a beautiful place to see wildlife, fish the lake and watch an amazing sunset, but the entire hike also teaches you about the history of the area and how the Mississippi River got its start. Walk across the mighty Mississippi River in Itasca State Park, MN.
At the Headwaters Trailhead there is a visitor center, bathrooms and a large interactive station for kids and adults to learn interesting facts about the Mississippi and the history of the area. The hike itself is just over a mile and completely flat. The trail follows the small Mississippi River to Lake Itasca or the Mississippi Headwaters.
We saw plenty of turtles, rabbits and deer along the trail, and the headwaters is beautiful. There is a small stone walkway you can use to hop your way across the river, or a large wooden walkway if you don't want to get wet. But if you are really feeling adventurous, hike right across the only three feet deep Mississippi just to say you did it!
We arrived about an hour before sunset and swam in the lake. Stay for the sunset to get the most beautiful shots as the blood orange and red sky mirrors on the smooth glass lake.
For more trail information: Itasca State Park Map
- Water in Summer
- Headlamp if watching sunset
- Shoes or boots you can get wet
- Swim Suit in Summer
- Sunscreen in Summer
- Fishing Pole
- Insect repellent
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Camping, Fishing, Hiking, Photography, Swimming
Spring, Summer, Autumn
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
Great Little Swimming Hole
I definitely recommend visiting during golden hour. The light was beautiful but it was still warm enough for the kids to play in the water. We enjoyed jumping the rocks. Its also pretty straightforward to bike here along the path from the campground!
Minnesota's 1st established State Park- a must see!
Excellent park to visit if you're ever in the area. This is a very popular spot to visit in the summer months; arrive early in the mornings to beat the crowds and get some great snapshots of the lake and river!
More Adventures Nearby
Hike to Kawishiwi Falls
Minnesota / Kawishiwi Falls Trail
The trail to Kawishiwi Falls begins at the parking lot and winds through a wooded trail with minimal elevation gain.
Hike to Fantasia Overlook
Minnesota / SHT Hwy 1 Parking
Getting to the trailhead: From Hwy. 61, turn left onto Hwy. 1 (at milepost 59.3) and travel 0.