Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota

Schoolcraft State Park

By Jim Umhoefer
Schoolcraft State Park is one of Minnesota’s smallest state parks and has few amenities. The one thing you will notice is the quiet of the virgin pine forest as your senses settle down in this wonderful hideaway.

On his way up the Mississippi River in search of its origin, Henry Rowe Schoolcraft camped near the present-day location of this park with his party of explorers in search of the Mississippi headwaters. The area bounded by Schoolcraft State Park remains virtually unchanged since the explorers paddled through. The park is full of many virgin white-pine trees in woods where songbirds are louder than voices. Wild rice still thrives in the marshes, and deer still sip from the river at dawn.

Schoolcraft State Park is located about 15 miles west of Grand Rapids in Minnesota’s Cass County on the Great River Road Scenic Byway.

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Kayakers on the Mississippi River in Schoolcraft State Park

Kayakers on the Mississippi River in Schoolcraft State Park

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Trails
Hikers can explore two miles of trails with interpretive signs.
Camping and Lodging
Scenic State Park has 28 rustic sites without services such as sewer or electric. There are vault toilets, but no showers. One site is accessible by canoe only and the group camp has room for 50.
Winter
No groomed ski trails exist, but snowshoeing is allowed throughout the park.
Paul Bunyan Trail
Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota