Minnesota covers 84,068 square miles, making it the 12th-largest state in the nation and just a wee bit smaller than Great Britain. The Twin Cities, a little south of the state’s waistline, sit right on the 45th parallel, halfway between the equator and the North Pole.
Angle Inlet (49.22° North), up at the top of the Northwest Angle, a chunk of land completely cut off from the rest of the United States due to a surveyor’s error, is the northernmost town in the Lower 48.
Minnesota’s highest point, Eagle Mountain (2,301 feet above sea level), is just 13 miles from its lowest point, Lake Superior (602 feet). The rest of the state works out to an average elevation of 1,200 feet.
Officially, the Land of 10,000 Lakes has 11,842. Red Lake, at 288,800 acres, is the largest entirely within the state’s borders, with Lake Mille Lacs coming in second at 132,520 acres. Due to the myriad lakes, Minnesota has more shoreline than California and Florida combined, or so they say.
Some 92,000 miles of rivers and streams cross the state, with the Mississippi River, the granddaddy of them all, accounting for 681 of those miles. Including wetlands, over 6 percent of Minnesota’s surface area is water.
© Tim Bewer from Moon Minnesota, 3rd Edition