Straight River State Water Trail

Straight River

The Straight River winds through farmland bordered by trees, meandering approximately 34 miles north from the Turtle Creek confluence in the Somerset Wildlife Management Area just south of Owatonna to Faribault, where it joins the Cannon River.

River locator map


River segments and maps

This river has only one segment. Get maps and more information.

Note: the Straight River shares a map with the Cannon River.

Fish and wildlife

Eating fish from a Minnesota river or lake? Read the MN Department of Health's fish consumption advisory.


  • Northern pike
  • Crappies
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Carp


  • White-tailed deer
  • Rabbits
  • Squirrels


  • Waterfowl
  • Songbirds


Straight may seem an inappropriate name for this twisting, turning stream. The river's name is actually a loose translation of "Owatonna," a Dakota Indian word meaning morally strong traders. Faribault was named for its founder, fur trader Alexander Faribault, who established a trading post here in 1828. Minnesota was dotted with fur trading posts in the 1820s, most controlled by the American Fur Company. In a single year Faribault's trade included 1,100 minks, 2,050 pounds of deerskins and 39,080 muskrats.

During the 19th century the Straight River area was an important milling center. In Clinton Falls, the Clinton Mills ground flour and feed for eight counties before it was destroyed by fire in 1896. The prior year (1895) at river mile 9.9, Walcott Mills also burned down, and is now marked only by the flume where the wheel once turned.

Back to top