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Whether you’re seeking the peace and tranquility of being alone in nature, are an avid hunter or fisherman, or are looking to enjoy the extensive trail system, the Heartland Lakes is literally surrounded with parks and forests to explore. Stop in at our visitor center for trail and forest maps or follow the links below to learn more about what makes each of the area’s state forests, wildlife refuge, and parks unique. 

Itasca State Park

As the oldest and one of the most visited state parks in Minnesota, Itasca State Park is an annual destination for many and a bucket list location for people across the country. The park is the source of the mighty Mississippi River as it flows from Lake Itasca, over the headwaters, and begins its 2,350 mile trip to the Gulf of Mexico.



Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Established as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds, Tamarac is world-renowned for birding opportunities. Numerous trails are available for hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, and hunting as permitted. The refuge also offers many events and programs designed to connect people with nature in new and inspiring ways.






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