Bemidji And Park Rapids, Minnesota
Bemidji, otherwise known as "First City on the Mississippi," is a charming town in Beltrami County, Minnesota, USA. Why is it called the "First City on the Mississippi"? Because it's located on the southwest shore of Bemidji Lake, which is the "first" - or northernmost - lake that feeds the Mississippi River.
Park Rapids is a city in Hubbard County, Minnesota. It is called the Gateway to the Mississippi River Headwaters at Itasca State Park. Itasca State Park is the one of the main tourist attractions in the area, with its legendary Heartland Trail and a Lake Country Scenic Byway Community.
Things to Do in Bemidji
In Bemidji, enjoy its rich arts, entertainment, shopping, dining, and stunning scenery.
Take a pontoon ride, a walk in a state park, a boat tour, play some golf or mini golf, ski, horseback ride, slide down the waterslide, go wine tasting, view some great art, and so much more.
Above all, be sure to go to the Tourist Information Centre, which is located on the shores of Lake Bemidji. It features the famous statues of Paul Bunyon and his pet ox, Babe - which were built in 1937 - and is the starting point for the Bemidji Sculpture Walk.
Things to Do in Park Rapids
With the Itasca State Park and all the beautiful lakes in the region, there's never a shortage of things to do or see in Park Rapids.
In Park Rapids, you'll enjoy great shopping, dining, casinos, live theatre, horseback riding, camping, golfing, tours, snowmobiling, or cross-country skiing, and more. Take a trip to the Lake Country Scenic Byway, where explorers searched for the Mississippi River headwaters only to find forests of tall pine trees and sparkling lakes.
Take a bike ride, or hike along the 49-mile long paved Heartland Trail - from Park Rapids to Cass Lake. Look out for whitetail deer, raccoons, red foxes, beavers, muskrats, porcupine, various birds, and enjoy the wildflowers, white pine and spruce fir trees. You mayeven spot a coyote, weasel, mink, bobcat or black bear.
If you're in Park Rapids in August, look out for the Legends and Logging Festival, which celebrates Park Rapids' history, culture, food, arts, crafts, and more. It takes place at the Red Bridge Park on the Fish Hook River. Don't miss the intense logging competitions and chainsaw carvings!
Q. What does the name "Bemidji" mean?
A. The name "Bemidji" comes from the Ojibwe word "Bemijigamaag," which means "lake that traverses another body of water" or "waters crossing waters." It refers, of course, to the Mississippi River, which traverses Bemidji Lake.