Social Distancing: Renovating The Mississippi Headwaters
The Iconic Mississippi River Headwaters Have A New Look This Spring Thanks To A Restoration Project
The days of social distancing are probably drawing to a close soon. Mask mandates are gone. Vaccination rates are going up. But I’ll still share ways to have some fun while spacing out when I come across them.
Which brings me to one of the most iconic places in our region: Itasca State Park.
I camped there over the weekend. It’s a great place to go on a hike, a bike ride, or just a drive checking out the scenery. And if you haven’t gone yet this year, they’ve made in improvement to the famed Mississippi Headwaters.
They bill the headwaters as the only place you can walk across the actual Mississippi river in its entire 2,000-plus mile path.
Thanks to a restoration project, it’s now easier to walk across the famed river mouth.
The Minnesota DNR restored the area last fall after heavy visitor traffic over the years caused some erosion.
They narrowed the river mouth, reinforced the riverbank, and added a line of flat stones that are easier to walk over.
You can see them in front of the older stones here.
That made it a lot easier to hop across the Mississippi than last time I was there.
Although it’s still not super easy. I had trouble with one rock, and after I crossed another man completely fell into the river. At least he got up smiling.
But it’s worth heading back out to check it out, even if you’ve seen it before.
Just be careful what time you go. There might be crowds. The first time I tried to go there were two separate school groups there. That was hectic. But it’s not hard to find a time where you’re all but alone at the beginning of the mighty Mississippi.
I love camping at Itasca, but I’m always looking for other places for a fun weekend trip.
Let me know on Facebook and Twitter.