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.
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)
Minnesota River Water Trail sections and maps:
- Ortonville to Granite Falls (Map, GeoPDF Map)
- Granite Falls to State Hwy 4 (Map, GeoPDF Map)
- State Hwy 4 to LeSueur (Map, GeoPDF Map)
- LeSueur to Fort Snelling (Map, GeoPDF Map)
- What is a geoPDF?