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Lakes & Rivers

  Split Rock Lighthouse and the Gitchi-Gami State Trail on the North Shore / Waqar Ahmad

On the Water

It's known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” but Minnesota has many more than that (11,842, actually) – not to mention the headwaters of the Mississippi River, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and superlative Lake Superior. The vast number of lakes, rivers and streams create an endless array of water experiences, from kayaking along the North Shore to fly fishing gentle streams to relaxing on a houseboat. Read on to find on-the-water fun for every season.

All Aboard for Boating Adventures

With so many pristine and beautiful bodies of water, Minnesota was bound to be beloved by boaters. There are plenty of ways to experience Minnesota by boat, including sailing Lake Superior, taking a river boat tour, paddling through a wilderness area and getting away from it all on a houseboat. Plan your boating adventure today.

More on Boating
The Grand Marais harbor as seen from Lake Superior

The Grand Marais harbor as seen from Lake Superior / Michael Harthan

Northern lights over a houseboat in Voyageurs National Park

Northern lights over a houseboat in Voyageurs National Park

Stillwater paddleboats

Take a paddleboat ride to explore the St. Croix River Valley / Thomas J. Wieland

Top Fishing Experiences

Fishing is a much-loved pastime throughout the state – so much so that Minnesotans even do it in the winter. Whether it’s a day trip or a weeks-long canoe trek, your dream fishing adventure awaits in Minnesota. Discover top fishing spots, insider tips and much more.

More on Fishing
Man holds 30-inch walleye caught on the Rainy River 

A 30-inch walleye caught on the Rainy River / LakeoftheWoodsMN.com

Kids ice fishing in Lake City

Kids ice fishing in Lake City / Ben Threinen and the Lake City Sportsmans Club

Fly fishing in the clear waters of Superior National Forest

Fly fishing in the clear waters of Superior National Forest / Alyssa Hei

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Kayakers Lake Superior North Shore

Kayakers on Lake Superior along the North Shore

Lake Superior

A magical place teeming with dramatic natural beauty, the North Shore of Lake Superior is a nature lover’s dream. Go kayaking or sailing to enjoy the vast lake's boundless tranquility.

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Itasca State Park Mississippi Headwaters sunset

The Mississippi River begins its 2,552-mile route across America at Itasca State Park in northern Minnesota

The Mighty Mississippi

Bisecting the U.S. at 2,552 miles long, the Mississippi River is the stuff of legend – and it all starts in Minnesota. See the iconic river’s headwaters at Itasca State Park, and take a narrated boat tour to learn about the river's history and lore. 

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Sunrise over Grace Lake in the Boundary Waters

A colorful sunrise over Grace Lake in the Boundary Waters / Gary Hamer

The Boundary Waters

Accessible primarily by canoe, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeast Minnesota is one of America's most beautiful and remote places. Straddling the U.S.-Canadian border, explore its 1,500 miles of water trails to find diverse wildlife, pristine nature and solitude.

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The middle falls at Gooseberry Falls State Park

Get an up-close view of the middle falls at Gooseberry Falls State Park / Justin Pruden

Waterfalls

The thunder and majesty of Minnesota’s waterfalls are a universally inspiring sight. Whether you’re taking a break from the city at Minnehaha Falls or snapping photos at High Falls (the state’s tallest), these waterfalls promise to impress.

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