The 10,000 lakes in Minnesota cover over 5600 square miles. That's an average of 1 square mile of water for every 15 of land. Northern Minnesota seems to have a lake around every corner.
We drove through Park Rapids and several small towns on the way to Itasca State Park. I love finding the farmer markets and small town activities. We stopped at one market and bought some Strawberry Rhubarb preserves that was made the day before. So that lead to us stopping a thrift store to find a toaster.
Lake Itasca is known as the beginning point for the mighty Mississippi River. In the boundaries of Itasca State Park is the source of the River. At merely 12-feet wide, the river begins it's long journey to the Gulf of Mexico. We can actually say that we walked across the Mississippi River. The park is beautiful with bike, hiking trails, campgrounds and of course boating.
Another big activity in the area is The Paul Bunyan Trail. It is the longest MN Bike trail in Minnesota at 112-miles. The portion of the trail from Guthrie south through Laporte toward Walker. The Paul Bunyan Trail yields a continuously paved trail from Brainerd MN to Lake Bemidji State Park in Bemidji Minnesota--a total of 112 paved miles!