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Minnesota sells itself short when it calls itself the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” There are actually 11,842 lakes within the state’s borders – and those are only the ones larger than 10 acres. More than one in every six Minnesotans owns a boat, far and away the highest rate of watercraft ownership in the United States. It comes as no surprise that water skiing was invented in the Gopher State. If you are not able to find lakefront property in Minnesota you are just not trying.
Most Minnesotans live in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, about 200 miles downstream from the headwaters of the Mississippi River after it flows out of Lake Itasca. With almost four million people, it is the largest community along the continent’s greatest river. The Twin Cities are always ranked among America’s most livable communities.
Activity on Minnesota lakes does not end when the common loon, the state bird, begin’s its winter migration. The plummeting temperatures trigger ice fishing, skating, hockey and curling on the frozen ice and 20,000 miles of snowmobile trails roar to life. Also pulsating with energy in the fall and winter are the state’s vast hunting lands, which include wolf hunt season in November and January. Most of the private hunting grounds, including large acreage parcels, can be found in the counties north of the Twin Cities.
Minnesota sits atop some of the oldest rocks on the planet and early land claims here were aimed at the richest stores of iron ore in the country. Minnesota still digs out 75% of the nation’s iron but most of the high-grade ore is depleted and the old mining lands are being bought for recreational use.