By Jim Umhoefer
Cass County. About 15 miles west of Grand Rapids. Drive west on Highway 2, south on Highway 6, and turn west onto County 28, following the park signs. Highway map index: I-9.
On his way up the Mississippi River in search of its origin, Henry Rowe Schoolcraft camped near here with his party of explorers. He found the headwaters on July 13, 1832, in present-day Itasca State Park. The area bounded by Schoolcraft State Park remains virtually unchanged since the explorers paddled through. The park boasts many virgin white-pine trees in woods where songbirds seem louder than voices. Wild rice still thrives in the marshes, and deer still sip from the river at dawn. Schoolcraft Stat Park is open nine months of the year. Read more: