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Old 01-22-2009, 07:00 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,119 posts, read 6,548,398 times
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Minnesota is the only state in the midwest that I haven't visited (other than flying into the twin cities for a flight changeover)... and I was wondering if someone could give me a quick rundown of how the geography in MN plays out. I'm just curious.

How much of the state is woodlands and lakes? Is southern MN the typical midwestern farmland? What is the Superior shoreline like in MN? Where do the different types of landscapes generally begin and end? Which areas are hilly and which are flat?

From a Michigander... the land of 11,000 lakes
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
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I will give it a try! If you go from northeast Minnesota to the southwestern part of the state it goes from forest and its starts to change to a forest prairie mix around st.cloud to all prairie in the southwest part of the state. The lake superior shore line is lined with pretty big cliffs and rocks this is where you would find the biggest hills in minnesota. actually the highest point in the midwest is located in the arrowhead of minnesota. I think its called eagle mountain.
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Columbus OH
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The southeastern part of the state is generally rolling farmland, mixed with some woodlands. The drive along the Mississippi River on Highway 61 from Red Wing to La Crosse (WI) is very scenic and includes lots of bluffs, plus Lake Pepin (where the Mississippi River widens significantly).

I've read that Minnesota is actually the nexus of three geographic land formations:

The Great North Woods (northern MN)
The Prairies (West and SW MN)
The Rolling Farmland of SE MN (not flattened by the retreating glaciers)
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,334 posts, read 25,930,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
Minnesota is the only state in the midwest that I haven't visited (other than flying into the twin cities for a flight changeover)... and I was wondering if someone could give me a quick rundown of how the geography in MN plays out. I'm just curious.

How much of the state is woodlands and lakes? Is southern MN the typical midwestern farmland? What is the Superior shoreline like in MN? Where do the different types of landscapes generally begin and end? Which areas are hilly and which are flat?

From a Michigander... the land of 11,000 lakes
Southern and southwest Minnesota is very much like Iowa. Rich farmland, and fairly flat until you get into the Buffalo Ridge area out by Marshall (windy grass-covered hills and lots of wind turbines generating power).

The Twin Cities area has a lot of trees and is located where two large rivers (the Minnesota and Mississippi) join together, and some of the area is hilly due to glacial activity (much of Minnetonka is glacial morain created by glaciers pushing dirt forward and then melting away, leaving a ridge, so you see a lot of tree-covered hills made up of mostly gravelly soil).

Central Minnesota is fairly flat, mixed forest, and lots of lakes. The Brainerd Lakes area is a featured location.

Northern Minnesota tends to have less topsoil and a higher percentage of conifers, and the northeast corner (the "arrowhead" region along the north shore of Superior) is very hilly. The Superior shore is rocky with lots of cliffs, etc. Very pretty, but not good swimming.

Some sources of information:

Geography of Minnesota - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Minnesota Geography and Maps
HowStuffWorks "Geography of Minnesota - Physical Geography"
NorthStar Mapper
Google Image Result for http://www.ocs.orst.edu/pub/maps/Precipitation/Total/States/MN/mn.gif

etc.

BTW, Minnesota actually has 11,842 lakes (some sources say 11,843) of 10 acres or more, or over 15,000 using other definitions of lake size, and unlike some states which claim large numbers of lakes (e.g., Texas), most of Minnesota's lakes are natural, not man-made reserviors. the glaciers made a lot of potholes, and those all filled up with water.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:02 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
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Thanks a lot everyone, great responses. I need to make it up there and some point and check things out for myself!
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Park Rapids
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Let us not forget the Pine Line which runs through the state just above where Fargo/Moorehead across the state to somewhere near Duluth. I'm not positive about the actual latitude linage. The Pine line is where the Eastern Hardwoods stop growing and only Pine Trees grow above this region. Above it there are Pine Forrests while below it there are Woods lush with all manor of trees including the hard woods.

It's a significant geographical designation. The entire bulk of Michigan lies below this, I believe, as the Upper Penninsula is below this line or right near it.

If you wish to step back in time and see America's Beauty as it once was, Itasca State Park which is the Head Waters of the Mississippi River, one of the most influential inland water system in the lower 48. Seeing it's beginning is both humble and refreshing. Itasca contains about 32000 plus acres of natural woodland and waters that were insanely important to the Native Americans which once hunted/fished and called Minneosta's woods thier homes.

Bemidji which is just to the north of Itasca, is home to the Paul Bunyon myth and his blue ox Babe. The Statue beside Lake Bemidji is the second most photographed tourist attraction only to Mt Rushmore here in the Northern United States.

You must allow yourself plenty of time to see this state. There is SOOO MUCH room to move about and so very much to see.
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Old 10-04-2022, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Milky Way Galaxy
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I lived in Saint Cloud for almost a year and it was cold. The people were nice and it overall wasn't a bad place to live but I just didn't want to live away from family.
A couple of photos from my time there:

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Old 10-17-2022, 07:59 AM
 
Location: West Virginia
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Not to put you in your place but Minnesota actually has around 15,000 lakes. We just don't go around bragging about it kiddo. I will add a bit about Lake Superiors shoreline. Almost every few miles there is a huge waterfall or cascade that goes into the lake. I know The UP has many waterfalls but these are much more dramatic with steeper drops. Many of the rivers have two or more falls. So there are a large number of state parks. One waterfall goes into a hole and nobody has ever found where it comes out. I dispose of my bodies there. Please don't fall in.

Now for the bad part, highway 61 runs very close to the lake for the entire distance of Minnesota's shoreline. It was also widened years ago and they dynamited the curves out of the roadway in some of the most scenic areas. Beaver Bay is one such area that comes to mind. One of the more pristine spots up in the arrowhead region is Isle Royale. Which actually belongs to Michigan and I still don't sleep well at night wondering how Michigan got it.

I actually own land on the UP now and prefer it although the north shore with it's inland lakes is very nice. I prefer to be near the small lakes with less traffic, in areas like the. Boundary Waters. In the UP I like being on the shoreline of one of the Great Lakes more. Because you have so many areas away from a major road on the lakes. Also because I have some lakefront on Drummond Island.

As far as the smaller lakes go Michigan seems to have very few compared to Minnesota. I mean there are some scattered here and there but nothing like Minnesota has and it doesn't seem easy to find one that is undiscovered.

Michigan's forests are pretty similar to MN but one thing that sticks out to me is how much more white pine MI has. In MN when they cut it didn't seem to grow back well where as in MI it is every where and of all ages and healthy. In MN you see some stands here and there and typically one or two scattered into a mixed forest. Usually ones left because the wood wasn't good or crooked and most likely half dead and not reproducing,

The farm country in the south and west and I think a tad more varied than what I see in Michigan driving up from Toledo to the UP. One area of note aside from Brainerd in the prairie region would be the area around Alexandria which has a chain of interesting lakes.

I have already went on too long but my last place I will mention is the river bluffs in the southeast down by Wabasha and Red Wing. That entire area has nice scenery over the bluffs and cliffs, tons of eagles and is genuinely pleasant all the way into Iowa.

I don't know the northwest so well so somebody else can tackle Itasca and things like Lake Winnibogoshish.


Can I have my island back now? All joking aside I like both states. One reason I chose the UP was because it is closer to where I live. I am originally from MN. The other choice was price. I can't touch anything on Lake Superior in MN but the UP I can get a place on the water.
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Old 10-18-2022, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Washington state
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Minnesota would be a lot nicer if they just fixed some of the main roads. Yeah, I know what winter and studded tires do to a road, but seriously?
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Old 10-18-2022, 05:40 PM
 
Location: MN
3,971 posts, read 9,609,796 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
Minnesota is the only state in the midwest that I haven't visited (other than flying into the twin cities for a flight changeover)... and I was wondering if someone could give me a quick rundown of how the geography in MN plays out. I'm just curious.

How much of the state is woodlands and lakes? Is southern MN the typical midwestern farmland? What is the Superior shoreline like in MN? Where do the different types of landscapes generally begin and end? Which areas are hilly and which are flat?

From a Michigander... the land of 11,000 lakes
These two images do a good job of illustrating the state’s biomes
Attached Thumbnails
Tell me about Minnesota-384d5546-e080-4c40-a3b9-2f9b132db238.png   Tell me about Minnesota-304fa5fe-845d-42ab-8c91-424724435f55.jpeg  
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