Savanna Portage State Park is the only state park in Aitkin County, and a place for tourists and locals to camp, hike, fish, canoe or spend a weekend with nature.
Historically, Savanna Portage was a trail and a region where travelers and traders would transfer canoes and cargo between the Mississippi and St. Lawrence (not to be confused with the St. Louis, a tributary of the St. Lawrence) water systems. To the west, the West Savanna River linked to the Mississippi River, a major trade route for early settlers and natives. To the east, the East Savanna River linked to the St. Louis River and Lake Superior, which led to the St. Lawrence River, the Atlantic Ocean and Europe.
That geographical fact made the area popular for travel, and later, settlement.
Modern day, the 6 mile-long trail can still be traveled by outdoor enthusiasts and some still portage their canoes through the trail in their journeys. Others can enjoy many other trails featured in the park, such as the Continental Divide Trail or the Lake Shumway Loop. Fishermen and canoers have access to four fishing lakes in the park. Bird watchers can borrow a free birding kit from the park office. For those only wanting to get out and get some fresh air, there are 61 drive-in campsites, four pull-through sites, one normal camper cabin and the Garni guest house. Reservations should be made early as sites fill up fast. To book a reservation, call 888-990-4322 or visit mndnr.gov/reservations.