Camping in Itasca State Park

Spent three nights camping in Itasca State Park. We covered almost all state parks along the North Shore but never been to the northwestern part of Minnesota until now. We initially planned to do this trip on the first week of October, but decided to move it up a few days earlier because the state park would shut the water access off on October 1.

The first morning in the campground was the coldest with the temperature hovering a little above freezing point at 36F due to the cold front. It was so cold that our exposed foreheads and noses felt the biting cold throughout the night. That said, the morning weather gradually got warmer since then (41F and 53F). The upside of cold weather is we did not have any mosquito or bug problems. We spent the whole Friday in Itasca State Park, covering the must-see attractions and hiking for several hours to see fall colors. The fall colors in the park was rather irregular since some areas were dominated by giant pine trees while others had more maple and oak trees.

On Saturday, we spent half day visiting Bemidji, a small town located about 45 minutes drive from Itasca State Park. There, we hiked in Lake Bemidji State Park and visited the Bemidji State University and the famous Paul Bunyan and Babe The Blue Ox statue. In the late afternoon, we rented bicycles in Itasca State Park and rode along the bike trails in the park since it was too windy to get a paddle boat out on the lake.

On Sunday, It started raining after midnight and it rained the whole day until we reached home in the late afternoon.

The headwaters of the Mississippi River, which is only 18-foot wide knee-deep river with incredibly clear water
Beautiful fall colors in Itasca State Park
Campfire under the bright moonlight.
Paul Bunyan and Babe The Blue Ox in Bemidji.
Being here in Itasca State Park somehow gave us a sense of wonderful accomplishment and pride that we passed the “true Minnesotan” test. We always talked about coming here in the past but never made it here because it is located far away in a rather remote place and we had no idea what else to do there. The opportunity to camp here allowed us to explore the park at our own slow pace, and at the same time, enjoy the true beauty of nature in Minnesota.
5+ hours road trip journey to Itasca State Park.
Places we covered in Itasca State Park.

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