Father Hennepin State Park is one of the state parks that you must visit on a journey through Minnesota. It is named after Father Louis Hennepin, the priest who arrived in the area in 1680 along with a French expedition. When he returned home, he described the beauty of the area as captivating and breath taking.
Visitors to Father Hennepin State Park can enjoy 320 acres of pure scenic beauty and natural vegetation. The park lies on the Southeast corner of Millie Lacs lake. With over a mile km of beach, there are various water-based activities that you can enjoy at the park, for example, swimming, fishing, canoeing, boating, and much more.
You can also get a glimpse of beautiful wilderness in its natural state. Birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts have the opportunity to spot lots of birds and mammals, for example, ruffed grouse, squirrels, and chipmunks. If you are lucky, you can spot the whitetail deer, which makes its home at Father Hennepin State Park.
The streams and ponds of the park provide habitat for lots of amphibians and insects as well as large fish species. There are lots of opportunities to picnic near the water ways and enjoy observing the diverse habitat at its finest. The beach picnic area offer plenty of family based fun along the sandy beach.
The park is located on the southeast shore of Mille Lacs Lake, just west of Isle, MN on Hwy. 27.
From the junction of interstate highway 169 and Minnesota Highway 27 north of Onamia Minnesota, follow MN-27 east 9.2 miles to the entrance to Father Hennepin State Park on the left in the town of Isle.
Coordinates: 46.147° N, 93.49° W
Follow the park road 1.2 miles to the parking lot for the beach and playground.
The park has semi modern lakeside campgrounds with some sites being electrical (50 amp). There are 103 tents only sites and 103 RV/trailer only sites. There is also primitive group camp sites as well as accessible sites. The campground is equipped with hot showers and flush toilet facilities. There's also a nearby dump station for park visitors with an RV. Pets are allowed in the campsite.
The campsites are spacious and overlook a scenic view. Moreover, there are lots of trees studded around the campground, providing lots of shade for campers.
There are two campgrounds. The Maple Grove is more woodsy if you prefer to be surrounded by green vegetation; however, it doesn't have electrical sites. It is more private than the Lake View campground.
The Lake View campground is more spacious and overlooks the lake shore, making it suitable to engage in lots of lake based activities due to its proximity to the lake. It is family oriented camp ground, however, it offers very little privacy and is often crowded in peak seasons.
You can setup your umbrella at the beach and let your kids have a blast with the water toys on a day full of pleasant memories with the park's extended shoreline that extends as far as your eyes can see.
The beach picnic area also includes a volley ball court and lots of recreational opportunities for families to have a wonderful time.
Hikers love to visit father Hennepin State Park during the spring to enjoy a colorful array of wildflowers and the natural beauty of sugar maples and oaks as well as other natural vegetation during spring and Autumn.
You can hike on paved trails or along the lake shoreline on a flat, sandy hiking trail. The hiking experience takes you along the shore where you can hear seagulls crying or geese calling along with the sound of waves softly crashing in the background.
You can also hike near the woodland area. During your hike, you could spot raccoons or listen to the chipmunks and squirrels scurry among the leaves.
If you would love to cycle in the fresh air and enjoy the scenic forest, there is a 11 mile paved cycling trail that connects Father Hennepin State Park with the Mille Lacs Kathio available for cycling enthusiasts. In addition to cycling through breath taking nature and enjoying the wind in your hair, you might also spot a rare albino deer that makes its home in Father Hennepin State park.
This cycling trail is actually one of the wonderfully developed aspect of the Soo line roadbed. The trail has grand plans for connecting more areas together to provide a wonderful and scenic biking experience for those who wish to bike or even roller blade amidst nature and magnificent scenery.
The calm water and the scenic view of the deep blue lake is extremely refreshing. It is a perfect opportunity to fish peacefully for various fish species.
There are accessible fishing piers to allow park visitors to fish without needing a boat,making it easier to enjoy fishing without much hassle.
The king-size pristine sandy beach enables the park visitors to enjoy a variety of water based activities. You can easily rent a canoe, kayak or a paddle board from the park office and head out for a water-based adventure. There are two drive-in boating ramps that leads right into the water.
Father Hennepin State park has a large shore, with the lake Millie Lacs stretching out, giving the park visitors easy access to cool and refreshing water. After cycling or going on a long hike, you may wish to dip your toes and cool off the hot summer heat. Please note that you need a state park permit to access the beach. There are day passes available at the park office.