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Natural Resources

A bounty of beauty

Scenic beauty and recreational opportunities are always nearby. Minnesota has an abundance of lakes, rivers and forests – and has the parks, trails, camping sites and public access ramps to enjoy them.
No matter the temperature, one thing holds true: the people of our state will be “out ‘n about” and actively enjoying the beautiful place we call home. Just imagine:
  • Seeing the Northern Lights while camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
  • Boating or water-skiing on the Mississippi River with downtown Minneapolis as your backdrop
  • Fishing or kayaking on a peaceful lake near your home – even if you live in a large city
  • Cross-country skiing at night on a lit, well-groomed trail – with the stars twinkling above 
Minnesota has 90,000 miles of shoreline – more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined. We also have:
  • Nearly 12,000 lakes
  • 76 state parks and recreation areas
  • 1,030 miles of hiking trails and 22,000 miles of snowmobile trails 
Minnesotans are irresistibly drawn to every corner of our beautiful outdoors and abundant public waters and lands. Nearly 8 million people visit our state parks every year.
But we have quality as well as quantity. Minneapolis and St. Paul have the two best park systems in the entire country, according to the Trust for Public Land. In fact, they two cities have vied for the top spot – with Minneapolis taking first place and St. Paul second place in 2016 and 2017 – and with the two of them tying for first place in 2015.
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