General river characteristics
To be eligible for inclusion in the Minnesota Wild and Scenic rivers system, a river or segment of a river, and its adjacent lands must possess outstanding scenic, recreational, natural, historical, scientific, or similar values. The river or its segments shall be classified into one or more of the three classes of rivers: wild, scenic, and recreational. Each river shall be managed so as to preserve and protect the values which qualify it for designation and classification.
Wild rivers are those that exist in a free-flowing state with excellent water quality and with adjacent lands that are essentially primitive. Wild rivers should not be paralleled by conspicuous and well-traveled roads or railroads.
Minnesota rivers with segments classified as wild: Kettle, Rum. (See the table.)
Scenic rivers are those rivers that exist in a free-flowing state and with adjacent lands that are largely undeveloped (i.e., adjacent lands still present an overall natural character, but in places may have been developed for agricultural, residential, or other land uses.)
Minnesota rivers with segments classified as scenic: Kettle, Mississippi, Minnesota, Rum, Cannon. (See the table.)
Recreational rivers are those rivers that may have undergone some impoundment or diversion in the past and that may have adjacent lands which are considerably developed, but that are still capable of being managed so as to further the purposes of this act. This means that bordering lands may have already been developed for a full range of agricultural or other land uses, and may also be readily accessible by pre-existing roads or railroads.
Minnesota rivers with segments classified as recreational: Mississippi, North Fork of the Crow, Minnesota, Rum, Cannon. (See the table.)
Legal classification definitions (excerpt from 1997 Minnesota Rules)
River Segment Classification Table
Designated River Segment
From the Carlton-Pine county line downstream to the Kettle River dam site at Sandstone
From the dam downstream to its confluence with the Saint Croix River
From county state aid highway No. 7 bridge at Saint Cloud to the county line at the Clearwater River between Stearns and Wright counties, and state highway No. 24 in Sherburne County
From the county line at the Clearwater River between Stearns and Wright counties, and state highway No. 24 in Sherburne County, to the western boundaries of the city of Dayton and the city of Ramsey
That portion in Meeker County from the spillway at the southern end of Lake Koronis to the Meeker-Wright County line
From the Lac qui Parle dam to the U.S. Highway 212 bridge in the corporate limits of Montevideo
From the U.S. Highway 212 bridge in the corporate limits of Montevideo to the Great Lakes Pipeline one-quarter mile downstream of the Minnesota Falls dam
From the Great Lakes Pipeline one-quarter mile downstream of the Minnesota Falls dam to the Redwood County state aid highway 11 bridge
From the Ogechie Lake spillway (excluding the shoreland of Shakopee Lake), to the river's northernmost confluence with Lake Onamia
From the Mille Lacs CSAH 20 bridge to the Mille Lacs CSAH 9 bridge, and from the Mille Lacs CSAH 13 bridge to the T 31 N -- T 32 N line on the southern border of the Anoka County fairgrounds
From the state highway 27 bridge in Onamia to the Mille Lacs CSAH 20 bridge, from the Mille Lacs CSAH 9 bridge to the Mille Lacs CSAH 13 bridge, and from the T 31 N -- T 32 N line on the southern border of the Anoka county fairgrounds in the city of Anoka to a line crossing the river between the center lines of Madison Street and Rice Street
From the northern city limits of Faribault (the common border of the north and south halves of Sections 19 and 20, T110N-R20W) to the state highway 56 bridge, and from the Lake Byllesby Dam (the common border of Sections 13 and 14, T112N-R18W) to the common border of Sections 7 and 8, T112N-R17W, in Cannon Falls. The Lake Byllesby Reservoir is excluded from this segment.
From the common border of Sections 7 and 8, T112N-R17W, in Cannon Falls to the river's confluence with the Mississippi River.