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Time Zone: Central

Minnesota has more miles of paved trails than any other state.

Minnesota Travel Information Center
250 Skyway Level
375 Jackson St.
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: 612-296-5029
Toll-free: 800-657-3700


What is now Minnesota was first part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The first permanent settlement was made in 1819. Minnesota became a state in 1858, the 32nd to do so. Though settlement began early on, the largest groups arrived during the 1880's. The first settlers came mostly from the New England area. Later immigrants from specific areas settled together - the southwestern state area by the Germans, Swedish and Norwegian. The northeast had a large number of Finnish immigrants and the Polish settled in the middle of the state. The site of Fort Snelling became the current Minneapolis/St. Paul area. The twin cities are on opposite sides of the Mississippi River. St. Paul was first known as Pig's Eye. It was renamed St. Paul in 1841. Minneapolis was incorporated in 1856. These two cities were the center of population for the entire area, nearly tripling in population in the 1880's. Because of their site at the confluence of the Minnesota and the Mississippi Rivers, the twin cities are still a center for Minnesota transportation.

Some notable "favorite sons" from Minnesota include: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Ole Edvart Rolvang - all authors. Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy and Walter Mondale are all politicians from Minnesota. Cartoonist, Charles Schultz was originally from Minnesota before settling in Santa Rosa, California.


The main emphasis in the economy of Minnesota has been varied, depending on the era. In the early years, lumbering was the mainstay of the economy, peaking out in the early 1900's. Since World War II, industry, commerce and services have come along and surpassed agriculture as the leading factor in the economy. While agriculture maintains a large percentage of the economy, others, such as food processing and packaging, have come into prominence. The growing of Christmas Trees is a big business in this forested state. Iron ore is mined in the areas northwest of Duluth with mines beginning back in the late 1800's.

Climate and Weather

Record high temperature: 114 degrees on 6 July 1936 at Moorehead
Record low temperature: -60 degrees on 2 February 1996 at Tower


In the ancient past of the Minnesota area, glaciers moved in and out four different times, leaving in their wake, canyons, gouges, and depressions which formed many lakes, rivers, and canyons. The Highlands area in the northern state has the headwaters of three great river systems - the Mississippi, the Red River of the North and the St. Lawrence. The Mississippi winding south to empty into the Gulf of Mexico. The Red River runs it course into Hudson Bay and the St. Lawrence eventually opens into the Atlantic Ocean. The many lakes become deeper and more rugged the further north you go. Over 12,000 of them are over 10 acres in size. Lake Superior is on the Northeastern border of the state. The next largest lake is Lake of the Woods which is shared with Ontario, Canada. That lake has over 14,000 islands! Other prominent lakes include: Upper and Lower Red Lake, Leech, Winnibigoshish, Mille Lacs and Vermilion.  Minnesota waters are also unique in that it has three watershed drainages areas that converge from Hibbing/Chisholm Minnesota - The Mississippi River, Hudson Bay Canada and The Atlantic Ocean

Longitude: 89° 34'W to 97° 12'W
Latitude: 43° 34'N to 49° 23'N
Geographic center: 10 miles SW of Brainerd in Crow Wing County at Longitude: 95° 19.6'W Latitude: 46° 1.5'N
Length: 400 miles
Width: 250 miles

Highest Point: 2,301 feet above sea level at Eagle Mountain
Lowest Point: 602 feet above sea level at Lake Superior
Average elevation: 1,200 feet above sea level

Borders:  Lake Superior as well as Wisconsin form the eastern border.  The western border is with both North and South Dakota.  To the north is the international border with Canada and to the south is the state of Iowa.

Total land area: 86,943 square miles
Total water area: 7,326 square miles
Total area: 86,943 square miles, the 12th largest state in size


Minnesota has over 4,000 square miles of water which, in turn, means much to sports enthusiasts! Water sports such as boating, canoeing, swimming, fishing, etc. are popular in the state. Camping, hunting, hiking and more outdoor oriented activities are found in abundance in the state.

Detroit Lakes
412 Lakes within a 25 miles radius!
Call for information about this area
Toll-free: 800-542-3992 ext. 502
Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 348-TB
Detroit Lakes, MN 56502

Fort Snelling State Park
Phone: 612-727-1961
3,300 acres on the rivers! Nature programs, picnic facilities, hiking trails and more.

State Capitol
Phone: 612-296-2881
Aurora and Constitution Avenues
An Italian Renaissance design building with sculpture, stenciled ceilings, murals and more. The Marble dome is unsupported and thought to be one of the world's tallest domes. Guided tours are given each hour Monday through Friday.

Voyageurs National Park
Inquiries to:
P.O. Box 50
International Falls, MN 56649
Phone: 218-283-9821
This park commemorates the French-Canadian voyageurs who canoed up and down these waters becoming the backbone of the fur trade. The Park has a literal maze of waterways with 84,000 acres of lakes and rivers within the park's 219,000 acres.



Minnesota Historical Society
345 W. Kellogg Blvd
St. Paul, MN 55102-1906
Phone: 651-296-6126

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
30 East 7th St
Suite 1700
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: 651.292.4650
Toll-free: 800.821.2230

Government Links page for Minnesota
Great links page for all levels of government in Minnesota


Find the weather for anyplace in the USA


This page was created 21 February 2000

This page was last updated 18 September 2006 at 11:33 am

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