Mississippi Headwaters Center. It is ground zero of the crown jewel of Minnesota's State Parks - Itasca.
It was to be a day trip outing from our camping
headquarters on beautiful Mantrap Lake. We learned the history of the park, along with doing the usual "see I can jump across the Mississippi River", thing.
After lunch we decided to do a fourteen mile
auto tour through the vast forest, focusing on locating some of the parks record size white and red pines.
We were about half way thru the loop when we noticed an interesting trailhead. The Troutbirders and friends
Gary and Rosie, being the intrepid explorers that they are,
decided to check the trail out.
The trail had an interesting story to tell. Several years
before, a huge storm had ripped through the vast Superior
National Forest, felling million of trees, causing much property damage and human injury. Throughout the area the felled trees posed a huge potential fire danger for the future.
In the park a decision was made to have loggers salvage and remove much of the downed timber.
The trailhead lead thru an area that was left in its natural storm
damaged condition. The purpose was to show visitors what the
forest looked like in the aftermath of the storm and to reveal the natural process of recovery directed by the hand of Mother Nature.
You are invited to come along as we hike thru the area.
The trail is quite narrow and even disappears in places
so stay close. I don't want anyone to get lost! We will stop for pictures along the way.
Now into "the forest primeval."
"This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest."
From Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Yes we did survive! And that evening had a great
dinner at the German restaurant near Akely.
If you would like to learn more about Itasca State Park
and especially the inspiring story of a very young woman,
Mary Gibbs, who long ago saved it from destruction
by the logging industry follow this link: