“There is so much to Discover!”
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park has so much to offer and discover. It's 9,000 years of human history and archaeological significance has made it a National Historic Landmark. You can learn about its rich history and all of Kathio's other treasures at the Visitor Center. Climb the 100 foot observation/fire tower and look across the majesty of Mille Lacs Lake. Take part in Mille Lacs Kathio State Park's extensive interpretive/nature programs or get out by yourself and hike on the park's varied trail system. Kathio has a wonderful swimming beach plus canoes or rowboats you can rent for a trip on the historic Rum River and Ogechie and Shakopee lakes. In the winter, visitors can cross-country ski on trails described as the best in Minnesota or take the family sledding on our popular sliding hill. The river, lakes, and park trails offer visitors excellent opportunities to watch waterfowl, bald eagles, osprey, beaver, loons, deer, coyotes, and many others. The park's geological history is a story of immense natural forces at work over thousands of years. The rolling hills are actually a part of a terminal moraine. The small, but abrupt hills, were formed approximately 10,000 years ago when a major glacier stopped its advance south. As the glacier melted, it deposited gravel, rocks, and boulders that it had accumulated in its grinding passage over to the north and east. The resulting land form is referred to a terminal moraine. The glacial debris partially blocked the land's natural drainage patten and in effect became a huge dam, creating an extensive lake of meltwater - a lake even larger than the present day Mille Lacs. This ancient lake had three outlets and a shoreline 15 feet higher than the present lake. A long period of geological and vegetational succession followed. The outlet streams cut deep channels. Ponds and small lakes drained away. Wave and ice action built up beach ridges. Drainage patterns and the shape of lakes altered. Silt and vegetation filled many of the depressions. The present park - its soil, vegetation, and wildlife - is the result of these thousands of years of constant natural progression.
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Mille Lacs Kathio State Park
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