Minnesota River State Water Trail

Minnesota River Water Trail
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The Minnesota River flows 318 miles from Big Stone Lake in Ortonville to its confluence with the Mississippi River near Fort Snelling in St. Paul. It is a gentle, placid river, with some portions designated as a Wild and Scenic River. The valley through which the river flows was carved into the landscape by the glacial River Warren between 11,700 and 9,400 years ago. Paddlers will see a diversity of terrain, ranging from steep granite bluffs to marshy lowlands.

This river was important during the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. Learn more.

Visitor alert

Flooding and high water alert

Safety officials warn paddlers, boaters and swimmers to pay attention to river levels. High water levels mean fast moving water with a lot of debris. Avoid rivers if there is a high water alert, check the area for other locations that are at a safer level. Always wear a life jacket and let someone know where you will be and when you expect to return.

(Updated June 25, 2018)

Virtual Tour: Take a virtual tour. It's a great tool to help you plan your next visit! Panoramic tour | Snapshot tour

Minnesota River Water Trail sections and maps:

River level reports | Outfitters | Safety | Licenses & fees | Current conditions | Order maps
Minnesota River GeoStory from American Rivers/National Geographic