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About Minnesota

Minnesota, is in the north central United States. Near the geographic center of North America, it is bordered on the north by the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario, on the west by North Dakota and South Dakota, on the south by Iowa, and on the east by Wisconsin and Lake Superior. Minnesota entered the Union on May 11, 1858, as the 32nd state. The area of Minnesota is 225,181 sq km (86,943 sq mi), of which 12,380 sq km (4,780 sq mi) is inland water and 6,594 sq km (2,546 sq mi) is a portion of Lake Superior under the state's jurisdiction. Minnesota thus ranks 12th in area among the 50 states. From north to south the state measures 653 km (406 mi), and from east to west it measures 576 km (358 mi) at its maximum extent and about 290 km (about 180 mi) at its narrowest point. The mean elevation is about 370 m (1,200 ft).

If you drive from the Canadian border on the north to the Iowa border on the south, you may think you are visiting several states and going through at least two seasons on the way.

If you start on a day in late April, you'll see snow on the ground. Around noon you'll be in central Minnesota, where the snow is gone and ice on the lakes has melted. Farther south later that afternoon, trees are full with leaves, farmers are finishing plowing, and it's spring. In a month, it will be spring in the north. You may like to check the weather map or the weather forecasts for today.

Another reason there seem to be several Minnesotas is that the state is at the crossroads of three types of terrain. Grassland plains and prairies are to the west and south, coniferous (cone-bearing) forest is to the north, and to the east is the hardwood forest, once known as the Big Woods.

Minnesota is located in the north central U.S., on the U.S.-Canada border.

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