If there's one thing Minnesota is known for, it's the staggering number of lakes found within its borders.

It's known as the "Land of Ten Thousand Lakes" but that's not entirely accurate. In fact, there are more lakes than that in Minnesota.

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Sawbill Lake Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness - Ben Davis
Sawbill Lake Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness - Ben Davis

How Many Lakes Are There In Minnesota?

According to the University of Minnesota, it's a lot more than 10,000.

The current estimate of lakes statewide is roughly 14,380 lakes in the state of Minnesota.

Why is it so hard to count lakes anyway? Here's a good analogy:

Why is it difficult to accurately count Minnesota’s lakes? There are simply many more small lakes to count than large ones. Think of the last time you had to pick up broken glass. There were likely a few large pieces, a bunch of medium-sized pieces, and too many tiny shards to count. The size distribution of lakes in a landscape follows this rule, at least in a newly formed landscape. That is why there are few big lakes, more medium-sized lakes, and many small ones.

-U of M Website

In fact, if you're counting all bodies of water, the state of Minnesota has at least 117,000 waterbodies.

In terms of lakes, the largest is Lake Superior (no surprise), and the smallest is Echo Lake in Cass County.

How much of the state is covered by lakes? According to the U of M website, it's an area about the size of Connecticut.

Story Source: U of M Website


Randy's Minnesota Memories

Randy McDaniel grew up on a small farm near Leota, Minnesota during the classic baby-boomer years of the 1960s and 1970s. These are his stories of growing up in the idyllic world of southwest Minnesota.

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