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Overview

The far north of Minnesota can be characterized by two words — woods and water. It's a canoeist's adventureland of lakes, rivers, camping and portaging (don't forget the mosquito repellant!). Contemporary explorers can head for International Falls, gateway to Voyageurs National Park; Itasca Park and the headwaters of the Mississippi River; the Boundary Waters National Canoe Area that begins along the Canadian border northwest of Duluth. Four of Minnesota's five largest lakes — Red, Vermillion, Leech, and Winnibigosh — as well as Chippewa and Superior National Forests, lie in the northern region, too. Originally the land of the Ojibwe ...

The far north of Minnesota can be characterized by two words — woods and water. It's a canoeist's adventureland of lakes, rivers, camping and portaging (don't forget the mosquito repellant!). Contemporary explorers can head for International Falls, gateway to Voyageurs National Park; Itasca Park and the headwaters of the Mississippi River; the Boundary Waters National Canoe Area that begins along the Canadian border northwest of Duluth. Four of Minnesota's five largest lakes — Red, Vermillion, Leech, and Winnibigosh — as well as Chippewa and Superior National Forests, lie in the northern region, too. Originally the land of the Ojibwe (Chippewa), the landscape is dotted with reservations — Red Lake, White Earth, Leech Lake, Bois Forte, Deer Creek — where annual powwows and craft sales are open to the public. Most of the towns have their own lakes and rivers. They are are towns like Bemidji, with its towering carved statues of Paul Bunyan and his companion, Babe the Blue Ox, the tourist centers of Walker on the south shore of Leech Lake, where you can buy local crafts, and Grand Rapids with the museum honoring its famous daughter, Judy Garland. Iron Range cities like Hibbing, Chisholm, and Eveleth as well as western population centers like Crookston and Thief River Falls all have attractions that are worth a stop, such as the open pit mines of the former, the world's largest ox cart at Crookston, and the indoor waterpark at the Seven Clans Casino, just outside Thief River Falls.

Connie Emerson
About the Expert

Connie Emerson is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Cheapskate's Guide to Branson, Missouri and Eyewitness Top Ten Travel Guide – Las Vegas.

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Connie Emerson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    June through Labor Day