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Minnesota Geography

During the Ice Age, the land now called Minnesota was totally covered by glaciers. When those masses of ice retreated (or melted) they left behind a rocky and pockmarked landscape of rolling hills and plains, tens of thousands of freshwater lakes (in all sizes) numerous rivers and countless small streams.

In the west along its border with North Dakota, the Red River Valley stretches from the Canadian border to the edges of South Dakota. This relatively flat strip of land is Minnesota's most productive farmland.

From Bemidji east to Grand Portage, and north to its border with Canada is the state's most rugged landscape. This area of Minnesota is dominated by the Mesabi Range of low mountains (hills), and the Misquah Hills, where the state's highest point is located.

This large stretch of land is frequently referred to as the Boundary Waters Region, a wilderness of lakes and rivers carved into the bedrock by the movement of glaciers, and surrounded by thick green forests.

Along the southeastern border with Wisconsin, the St Croix River and Mississippi; it rises in northwestern Minnesota, then flows south to the Gulf of Mexico, just below the city of New Orleans. It is a significant transportation artery and when combined with its major tributaries (the Missouri and Ohio rivers) it becomes the third largest river system in the world at (2,339 miles) (3,765 km) in length.

Other rivers of note include the Minnesota, Rainy, Red and St. Croix. In this "Land of 10,000 Lakes" some of the most significant include Lake of the Woods (with over 14,000 counted islands) Red Lake (both upper and lower) Mille Lacs, and of course Lake Superior.

For a detailed look at the topography of Minnesota, view this Landforms of America

  • Landforms of North America
  • Rivers of North America
  • Minnesota Photographs

    Temperance River State Park, Schroeder, Minnesota, USA

    Temperance River State Park...
    by Peter Hawkins
    Buy This at Allposters.com

    Minnesota Cities, Counties & Area Codes

    City County Area Code
    Aitkin Aitkin 218
    Minneapolis Anoka 763
    Detroit Lakes Becker 218
    Bemidji Beltrami 218
    Sauk Rapids Benton 320
    Ortonville Big Stone 320
    Mankato Blue Earth 507
    New Ulm Brown 507
    Cloquet Carlton 218
    Chaska Carver 952
    Cass Lake Cass 218
    Montevideo Chippewa 320
    North Branch Chisago 651
    Moorhead Clay 218
    Bagley Clearwater 218
    Grand Marais Cook 218
    Windom Cottonwood 507
    Brainerd Crow Wing 218
    Saint Paul Dakota 651
    Kasson Dodge 507
    Alexandria Douglas 320
    Blue Earth Faribault 507
    Chatfield Fillmore 507
    Albert Lea Freeborn 507
    Red Wing Goodhue 651
    Elbow Lake Grant 218
    Minneapolis Hennepin 612
    La Crescent Houston 507
    Park Rapids Hubbard 218
    Cambridge Isanti 763
    Grand Rapids Itasca 218
    Jackson Jackson 507
    Mora Kanabec 320
    Willmar Kandiyohi 320
    Hallock Kittson 218
    International Falls Koochiching 218
    Madison Lac Qui Parle 320
    Two Harbors Lake 218
    Baudette Lake of the Woods 218
    Le Sueur Le Sueur 507
    Tyler Lincoln 507
    Marshall Lyon 507
    Mahnomen Mahnomen 218
    Warren Marshall 218
    Fairmont Martin 507
    Hutchinson McLeod 320
    Litchfield Meeker 320
    Princeton Mille Lacs 763
    Little Falls Morrison 320
    Austin Mower 507
    Slayton Murray 507
    Mankato Nicollet 507
    Worthington Nobles 507
    Ada Norman 218
    Rochester Olmsted 507
    Fergus Falls Otter Tail 218
    Thief River Falls Pennington 218
    Pine City Pine 320
    Pipestone Pipestone 507
    East Grand Forks Polk 218
    Glenwood Pope 320
    Saint Paul Ramsey 651
    Red Lake Falls Red Lake 218
    Redwood Falls Redwood 507
    Olivia Renville 320
    Faribault Rice 507
    Luverne Rock 507
    Roseau Roseau 218
    Duluth Saint Louis 218
    Shakopee Scott 952
    Elk River Sherburne 763
    Arlington Sibley 507
    Saint Cloud Stearns 320
    Owatonna Steele 507
    Morris Stevens 320
    Benson Swift 320
    Long Prairie Todd 320
    Wheaton Traverse 320
    Lake City Wabasha 651
    Wadena Wadena 218
    Waseca Waseca 507
    Saint Paul Washington 651
    Saint James Watonwan 507
    Breckenridge Wilkin 218
    Winona Winona 507
    Buffalo Wright 763
    Granite Falls Yellow Medicine 320
    This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.