Geography of Minnesota

The northernmost state of the United States, Minnesota is the twelfth-largest state with an area of 86,943 square miles. Crow Wing County is the geographic center of the state.

General Features

Minnesota is part of the region in the United State known as the Upper Midwest. The state is bordered by Canada on the north; Iowa on the south, Lake Superior and Wisconsin on the east, and by North and South Dakota on the west. Minnesota is the twelfth-largest state covering an area of 86,943 square miles.

Most of the landscape of Minnesota comprises gently rolling plains that are formed when glaciers move over the area. This area has fertile soil and has many rich farmlands in the United States.

Northern part of Minnesota is made up of rugged terrain. The northeast section consists of many rocky ridges and deep lakes. However, the area lying north of Lake Superior is the roughest and most isolated. Eagle Mountain, the highest point in Minnesota, is located north of Lake Superior. The southeastern section of the state, along the Mississippi River, is relatively flat, cut by deep valleys that are created by fast flowing rivers and streams.

The southwestern Minnesota has thick deposits of sand, gravel, and clay. There are many streams that make the area fit for cultivation.

Geographical Facts About Minnesota

Area 86,943 square miles
Land Area 83,574 square miles
Water Area 7,326 square miles
Highest Point Eagle Mountain (701 meters)
Lowest Point Lake Superior (183 meters)
Mean Elevation 365 meters
Geographic Center Crow Wing County

Climate of Minnesota

Minnesota has a continental climate marked by cold winters and hot summers. The highest temperature recorded in Minnesota is 46°C; this was registered on July 6, 1936 at Moorhead. The lowest temperature ( '51 °C) in Minnesota was recorded on February 2, 1996 at Tower. The state is prone to severe weather conditions like blizzards, thunderstorms, hail, derechos, tornadoes, and high-velocity straight-line winds.

Minnesota has many high mountain peaks and summits. Eagle Mountain is the highest peak followed by Lima Mountain, Brule Mountain, and Pine Mountain.
  • Sawtooth Mountain
  • Mount Northrop
  • Green Mountain
  • Mount Josephine
  • Moose Mountain
  • Jack Pine Hill
  • Strawberry Mountain
  • Mount Nebo


Minnesota River, Mississippi River, Rainy River, Red River of the North, St. Croix River are the major rivers found in Minnesota. The other rivers include:

  • Armstrong River
  • Artichoke River
  • Boulder River
  • Cascade River
  • Cannon River
  • Crocodile River
  • Birch River

There are a number of lakes in Minnesota and hence the state is known as the Land of 10000 Lakes. Almost all the counties in the state has at least one natural lake.

The major lakes in Minnesota are:
  • Upper Red Lake
  • Lower Red Lake
  • Mille Lacs Lake
  • Vermillion Lake
  • Rainy Lake
  • Lake of the Woods
  • Lake Superior
  • Leech Lake
  • Winnibigoshish Lake
  • Lake Pepin
Last Updated on: July 18, 2017