Using the date Minnesota’s oldest state park, Itasca State Park, was established, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ State Parks and Trails division is claiming 2016 as its 125th anniversary.
Itasca State Park officially came to be on April 20, 1891, designed to preserve the old growth pine trees that were in danger of being logged. More than half a million people visit Itasca State Park every year to see the giant pines and wade across the headwaters of the Mississippi River State Water Trail.
Since 1891, Minnesota has added:
- 74 more state parks and state recreation areas
- 25 multi-use state trails
- 34 state water trails
- Plus state forest recreation areas, public water accesses, fishing piers and more
In honor of their anniversary this year, the DNR will be holding lots of special events—including new ways for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy Minnesota’s state parks and trails.