May 11 – Minnesota's Statehood Day

Posted on May 11, 2016

The name Minnesota means “clear blue water” in the Dakota language.

Minnesota's nickname is “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”

So, I bet you know what I am going to feature on the anniversary of Minnesota becoming the 32nd state of the United States (on this date in 1858)....

Minnesota's lakes!

So...does Minnesota REALLY have 10,000 lakes? Or is that an exaggeration?

Actually, that's an understatement! There are actually 11,842 lakes of more than ten acres in size!

Because of the sheer number of lakes, there are many repeat names. For example, there are 2 Alice Lakes, 2 Anderson Lakes, 2 Andrew Lakes, 2 Anna Lakes, 4 Ann Lakes, and a whopping 7 Augusta Lakes! (And that's just the repeats for the letter “A”!)

Here's where it gets bad: according to 50 States, Minnesota has 201 different Mud Lakes, 154 Long Lakes, and 123 Rice Lakes! 

To see a list of Minnesota's lakes, check out Wikipedia

Here are some cool things about Minnesota's waters:

  • Minnesota's waters flow in various directions. Some rivers flow north to Hudson Bay, in Canada; some flow east to the Atlantic Ocean; and some flow south to the Gulf of Mexico. 
(I hope it doesn't surprise you to learn that all of Minnesota's rivers flow DOWNwards.)

  • Voyageurs National Park is the largest water-based park in the National Park System.

  • Lake Superior, which touches on Minnesota as well as other states and Canada, is the largest of the Great Lakes and, as a matter of fact, the largest freshwater lake in North America. It is the third largest freshwater lake in the world (by surface area). 

Lake Superior is so large, it looks a lot like an ocean.

  • The total surface water area in Minnesota, including both deep water and wetlands, is more than 13 million acres. That's enough surface water area to cover all of Connecticut and Rhode Island, together!
This is one reason people like lakes: They love to fish!!

Me? I tend to be way more excited about their beauty than their bounty.

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