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Minneapolis St. Paul News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | Minneapolis, Minnesota | kare11.com

Hitting The Trails: Lake Mille Lacs

A bird's-eye view is just one of the features at Mille Lacs State Park in Onamia.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — We head north this week to visit Mille Lacs Kathio State Park in Onamia and Father Hennepin State Park in Isle.

"We are at one of the features in the state park that was built for monitoring fires years ago," said DNR Parks and Trails Director Erika Rivers 

After climbing up the 100-foot observation tower, your reward is an amazing bird's eye view of the Lake Mille Lacs area.

Credit: KARE

"This is the place that's going to take your breath away literally and figuratively. You're going to get a good workout on the way to the top of this and then your breath is going to be taken away at the 360 degree views of the park," Rivers said.

"My recommendation is that you come on up here to the top of the fire tower and get the lay of the land and then go and hike some of the famous trails that are in the park that really document Minnesota's history with the Mdewekanton people," Rivers added.

Credit: KARE


Mille Lacs Kathios State Park is one of the richest archeological sites in the state dating back 9,000.

"You'll see a lot of historic sites along the path, some are mound structures and other structures along the trail. This land has been home to the Mdewekanton as well as the Ojibwe Nation said DNR Parks and Trails Visitor Services and Outreach Manager Rachel Hopper.  


Our second stop is just down the road, located about 10 miles away on the southern shore of Lake Mille Lacs is Father Hennepin State Park in Isle.

Credit: KARE



"Mille Lacs is one of top 10 biggest lakes in Minnesota and is known for it's walleye and bass fishery. This is about a 320-acre acre park has a 1/4 mile long beach and has plenty of places to stretch out and enjoy some family time," said Rivers.

It also provides a nice connection to some of the small towns around the area via the Soo Line Trail which comes into the park.

Cost of admission to Minnesota state parks is $7 daily or $35 for a year pass.

You can click on this DNR link for more information.