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Coborns offering travel by land and sea

"Don't miss the boat!" Chris Coborn, accompanied by daughters Kaisa, left, and Kendra, is offering a shuttle service to Itasca from Park Rapids and Walker and Bemidji. He will also customize tours. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

The Coborn family, known for ferrying passengers aboard the Chester Charles II on Lake Itasca, has launched another means of transportation, a shuttle service.

Groups of 15 or more may park at the Smokey Hills Outdoors Store on Highway 71, Park Rapids. At 10 a.m., the bus departs for a tour of Itasca State Park, via land and sea.

Passengers will head out for a boat tour on the 141-passenger Chester Charles. The tour follows the same route taken by Ozawindib in 1832 when he guided Henry Rowe Schoolcraft to the Headwaters of the Mississippi River where they recorded the source of the greatest river in the United States as it begins its flow 2,552 miles to the Gulf of Mexico.

"Explorers" will then board the bus for stops at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center and the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center, with lunches available at Douglas Lodge. Ticket price for bus and boat tour from Park Rapids is $25. It's a five-hour round trip.

Chris Coborn, who's behind the wheel of the air-conditioned, 30-passenger bus, will also offer packages from Walker and Bemidji, with a two-day notice preferred. Or passengers can determine their starting points and destinations.

The aim is to bring more people to the Headwaters of the Mississippi, with seniors and resort visitors welcome. The service will run through the end of August.

Brochures are available at area businesses or call or visit Lake Itasca Tours for more information.