Itasca State Park
At this point 1,475 feet above sea level, the Mississippi River begins its journey to the Gulf of Mexico. Explored by Henry Schoolcraft in 1830, this is the Mississippi's true source. Each year, thousands of visitors make a pilgrimage here to wade across the famous headwaters. Lake Itasca is part of Lake Itasca State Park, one of the oldest state parks in the state. The entire 32,690-acre park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The park contains, among other historic and geologic features, a remnant of the giant red and white pines that once covered northern Minnesota. Visit both the Jacob V. Brower and Mary Gibbs Headwaters Visitor Centers within the park for information and activities.