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Getting to the Itasca Station

Driving from the Twin Cities

Take Interstate 94 West approx. 100 miles, exit at Sauk Centre, MN (Hwy 71). Take Highway 71 north approx. 150 miles to Itasca State Park, located 20 miles north of Park Rapids, MN.

From the south entrance to the park, drive 3 miles to the visitor center, purchase park permit. Drive another 3 miles from the visitor center to the U of M Biological Station.

Please note that using a GPS to locate the station may result in inaccurate directions. Be sure to check a map to see if you are heading for the correct destination, as we have had people end up two hours out of the way when following their GPS.

Other transportation options

Northwest Airlines offers daily service between the Twin Cities and Bemidji. Bus service is available to Bemidji, about 36 miles northeast of the park. Students may be met upon arrival if they make prior arrangements with the program coordinator.


Click here to view a satellite view of the station via Google Maps.  You can use that view to get the most accurate Google Maps directions to the Station from your departure location.

NOTE: if you were to do a general search for Itasca State Park; this is what you'd get on Mapquest or Google — the destination point on these references is 3 miles from the actual Station and Laboratories. Below is a map of a preferred route to take to Itasca.

You can learn more about Itasca State Park at the DNR website. Check out current weather conditions here.