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.
Minnesota River Water Trail sections and maps:
- Ortonville to Granite Falls (Map)
- Granite Falls to State Hwy 4 (Map)
- State Hwy 4 to LeSueur (Map)
- LeSueur to Fort Snelling (Map)
Minnesota River GeoStory from American Rivers/National Geographic