Itasca State Park Professional Review and Guide
"North of Park Rapids. A rolling trail that goes by many small lakes, all the while under some of the biggest pines in the state. Special attractions: Headwaters of the Mississippi, wildlife, and big old-growth red and white pines. Itasca State Park holds the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi, which is the seventh largest river in the world and the largest river in North America.
Yet, here you can walk across it on stepping stones. Some facts about the river: it runs for 2,552 miles (about one quarter of its length is in Minnesota); it drops 1,475 feet on its way to the Gulf of Mexico; and it drains thirty-one states and a couple of Canadian provinces. Its tributaries, stretching from the Rocky Mountains (with the Missouri River) to the Appalachians (with the Ohio River), create a water basin larger than the Nile."