Lake Itasca is a small glacial lake, approximately 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2) in area, notable for being the headwaters of the Mississippi River. The lake is located in southeastern Clearwater County, in the Headwaters area of north central Minnesota. The lake is within Itasca State Park and it has an average depth of 20–35 feet (6–11 m), and is 1,475 ft (450 m) above sea level.
The Ojibwe name for "Lake Itasca" is Omashkoozo-zaaga'igan (Elk Lake); this was changed by Henry Schoolcraft to "Itasca", coined from a combination of the Latin words veritas ("truth") and caput ("head"), though it is sometimes misinterpreted as "true head." It is one of several examples of pseudo-Indian place names created by Schoolcraft.
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