Minnesota

River County Reach Length (miles) Description Potential Classification ORVs Watershed (HUC Code 8) Year Listed/ Updated Other State
Ash River St. Louis Ash Lake north to Ash River Falls near Kabetogama Lake (just upstream from Gannon Creek) 29 Land adjacent to river is generally flat and swampy, being mostly on lake bed of ancient Lake Agassiz. Fishing and canoeing. Lower portion is designated State trout stream. Recreational Recreational Rainy Headwaters 1982/ 1993
Bear River St. Louis, Itasca 12b boundary (Sec. 35, T61N, R23W) to confluence with Sturgeon River 27 A relatively small stream in northern Minnesota with moderate recreational use. In Washington and Sturgeon River State Forests. Minimal cultural intrusion. Scenic Little Fork 1982
Big Fork River Koochiching, Itasca Dora Lake to confluence with Rainy River 168 A long stretch of northern river starting in the Chippewa National Forest and flowing through a heavily forested, unspoiled watershed. A free-flowing stream with swift rapids, waterfalls and some long remote stretches. A state canoe route. It offers a wilderness trip of outstanding quality. Recreational, Scenic Big Fork 1982
Black River Koochiching Intermittent area (Sec. 2, T157N, R28W) to confluence with Rainy River 43 A northern tributary to Rainy River flowing through the Pine Island State Forest and the controversial North Black River Peatlands potential National Natural Landmark. Generally low recreational use. Scenic Lower Rainy 1982
Blue Earth River Blue Earth, Faribault City of Blue Earth to Rapidan Lake (East of Lake Crystal and US 169) 86 Flows through the heart of southern Minnesota farm country but has generally well wooded banks. A broad stream with very good floating and fishing potential. Generally high fishing use, it offers one of the best warm water fisheries in southern Minnesota. Lower portion has high hills and some rock outcrops. Recreational, Scenic Blue Earth 1982
Brule River Cook Horseshoe Lake in BWCA to Lake Superior 3 miles west of Hovland, MN. 40 Flows in part through Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Superior National Forest in upper portion and Grand Portage State Forest in lower stretch. High hills, gorges, rapids and falls add to scenic beauty. Watershed is completely forested. Little cultural intrusion. Fishing good, but it is only canoeable by experienced canoeists. Scenic Geologic, Scenic Baptism-Brule 1982/ 1993
Caldwell Brook Koochiching Headwaters to confluence with Big Fork River 50 A small tributary of the Big Fork River flowing through a very wild watershed in the Pine Island State Forest. Moderate fishing use and very little canoeing use. Scenic Big Fork 1982
Cannon River Rice, Dakota Spillway at Faribault to Waterford (immediately northeast of Northfield at the junction of State Highway 3 (MN 3) and Northfield Boulevard / Dakota County Road 47) 23 A slow moving stream with rolling farmland and marshes in upper portion and high hills and 250-foot bluffs in lower reaches. A good canoeing stream with some outstanding scenery. Medium to good warm water fishing. Authorized for study for State Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Recreational, Scenic Cannon 1982
Clearwater River Clearwater, Beltrami Bagley to County Rd. 69 in Greenwood Twp. Clearwater County 53 A large tributary of the Red Lake River in northwestern Minnesota. Flows through watershed which is about 30 percent farmed and 70 percent forested. The land is basically flat and has much low swampy terrain. Moderate canoeing and fishing use. Scenic Clearwater 1982
Cloquet River St. Louis Forest Boundary to mouth at St. Louis River (omitting Island Lake Reservoir) 38 One of northeastern Minnesota's best streams. Has little cultural development in some segments. A good canoeing stream rising in the Superior National Forest hill country and flowing through the Cloquet Valley State Forest to a point near Duluth. Fair warm water fishing with some trout available. Authorized for study for State Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Recreational, Scenic Cloquet 1982
Cloquet River St. Louis, Lake Cloquet Lake on Isabella Ranger District to Forest Boundary 61 Upper reaches are canoeable during spring and wetter than average years. Moderate warm-water fisheries. Recreational/Scenic Recreational, Scenic Cloquet 1982/ 1993
Crow River Hennepin Confluence with North and South Branches to mouth at Mississippi River 25 Flows through central Minnesota farm country and and Minneapolis SMSA. Crow 1982
Crow Wing River Morrison Confluence with Shell River to Motley 65 A fairly broad river flowing through a fairly well wooded corridor in central Minnesota. The watershed is about 30 percent farmed and has much swamp and marsh. Considerable fishing and floating use. Proposed for study by State Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Recreational, Scenic Crow Wing 1982
Dark River St. Louis Headwaters to confluence with Sturgeon River. 19 Flow through generally flat northern MN forest, swamp, and farming country. Designated trout stream. Scenic Scenic Little Fork 1982/ 1993
Des Moines River, West Fork Lyon, Murray, Cottonwood, Jackson Headwaters to backwaters of Lake Shetek then from Lake Shetak dam downstream to Petersburg. 111 A leisurely stream flowing through southeastern Minnesota. Flat farm country. Watershed is mainly agricultural with some farming to waters edge. One of the few good canoeing streams in this part of the state. Main portion of river lies in Iowa. Some historic value. Recreational Upper Des Moines 1982
Embarrass River St. Louis Headwaters to north end of Sabin Lake 33 A small northern river flowing through a heavily forested watershed and near the Superior National Forest boundary. Scenic St. Louis 1982
Little Fork River Koochiching, St. Louis Town of Cook to confluence with Rainy River 142 A wilderness river flowing north to the Canadian border through a heavily forested portion of the state with a small amount of agriculture in the watershed. Flows through a portion of the Nett Lake Indian Reservation and Koochiching State Forest. Geologic, Scenic Lower Rainy 1982
Lower Tamarack River Pine Headwaters in Nemadji State Forest to mouth at St. Croix River. 39 A relatively small tributary of the St. Croix River. Has a well forested watershed with some agriculture. Good fishing and seasonable canoeing. Scenic Upper St. Croix 1982
Manitou River Lake Headwaters to Lake Superior 26 Lower half has deep gorges with eight major waterfalls. Good trout stream. Fishing and some cross-country skiing. Scenic Fish, Geologic, Scenic Baptism-Brule 1982/ 1993
Middle River Marshall Newfolden to Argyle 55 A meandering stream though a heavily farmed area of northwestern Minnesota. The watershed is somewhat flat, but the river is located in a shallow valley which is for the most part wooded. Flows through Old Mill State Park. Generally low to moderate recreational use. Scenic Snake 1982
Minnehaha Creek Hennepin Minnetonka Blvd. to Lake Minnetonka 5 Located within the city limits of Minneapolis flowing through mainly residential and park areas. A small stream with much shoreline activity. Falls in lower portion. Flows through limestone gorge near mouth. Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Twin Cities 1982
Minnesota River Carver, Scott, Sibley, LaSueur, Nicollet, Blue Earth, Brown, Renville, see comments for full list From Big Stone Lake to Chaska omitting Marsh Lake and Lac Qui Parle Lake. 283 Counties-Redwood, Yellow, Medicine, Chippewa, Lac Qui Parle. A long river segment having a very large watershed. Flows through south central Minnesota farm country. Hardwood forest areas and rock outcroppings. Minnesota River Valley is a major geologic resource. Was route of early traders, settlers and explorers. Many Indian mounds. Historic Ft. Snelling located at mouth on Mississippi River. Relatively gentle and good canoeing stream. Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge located on this river. Fishing is a major recreational use. Located in part in Minneapolis-St. Paul SMSA. Partially in State Wild and Scenic Rivers System and part authorized for study._x000D__x000D_ Historic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Hawk-Yellow Medicine 1982
Mississippi River Washington, Dakota, Hennepin COE Lock and Dam #1 in Minneapolis to St. Croix River confluence 35 A broad interstate river with considerable recreational potential. Recreational boating (power boats and house boats) is a major use. Receives heavy fishing use. Some canoe use. Much commercial barge traffic. Early fur trader and explorer route. Many historic and archeological sites along river, including historic and scenic Ft. Snelling. Limestone bluffs visible from river. Partially in Minneapolis-St. Paul SMSA. One of nation's largest waterfowl routes. Geologic, Historic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Twin Cities 1982
Moose River Aitkin, Cass Headwaters to confluence with Willow River 24 A small north central Minnesota stream flowing through a generally well wooded watershed with some farming. Much low swamp land along corridor. Low recreational use. Scenic Pine 1982
Pigeon River Cook Entire segment within Grand Portage National Monument 1 A truly wild river flowing through scenic hills, gorges, and over spectacular waterfalls. Flows through Grand Portage State Forest and Grand Portage Indian Reservation. Good fishing and canoeing. Wild Cultural, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Baptism-Brule 1982/ 1993
Pigeon River Cook From the Eastern border of Superior National Forest to Lake Superior excluding segment within Grand Portage National Monument 22 Flows along the border between the United States and Canada. A truly wild river flowing through scenic hills, gorges and over spectacular waterfalls. Flows through Grand Portage State Forest, Grande Portage Indian Reservation. Good fishing. Floating for the experienced only. Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Baptism-Brule 1982
Pigeon River Cook From South Fowl Lake: The 8 miles adjacent to Superior National Forest and Pigeon River purchase unit 9 River gradually narrows and quickens, then goes through falls and rapids to Lake Superior. Total length 30 miles; river is the National boundary with most of the Canadian side within a provincial park. Scenic Geologic, Historic, Scenic Baptism-Brule 1982/ 1993
Prairie River Itasca Headwaters to Hay Creek Fork 50 Was once part of an important portage route during fur trade era. Moderate existing recreational use. Scenic Prairie-Willow 1982
Prairie River Aitkin, St. Louis Headwaters to mouth at Big Snady Lake Reservoir 36 A north central Minnesota river flowing for the most part through the Savanna State Forest. Has a generally well forested watershed with scattered agriculture. Flows through much flat, swampy country. Low to moderate recreational use. Scenic Prairie-Willow 1982
Rapid River Koochiching, Lake of the Woods Channelized area in Sec. 23, T157N, R33W to confluence with Rainy River 56 A northern river originating in Beltrami Island State Forest, and flowing very near to Upper Red Lake Peatlands National Natural Landmark. A meandering stream through a flat, fairly heavily farmed portion of the state. Low recreational use. Scenic Rapid 1982
Rapid River, East Fork Koochiching Intermittent area to confluence with Rapid River 30 A small tributary of the Rapid River. Very little recreational use. Some warm water fishing. Watershed about 50 percent farmed with a considerable amount of low swampy area. Scenic Rapid 1982
Rapid River, North Branch Lake of the Woods Sec. 13, T158N, R33W to confluence with Rapid River 24 Originates and flows in part on Beltrami Island State Forest and Red Lake Indian Reservation. Watershed fairly flat and 50 percent farmed, with a considerable amount of low swampy area. Low recreational use. Scenic Rapid 1982
Rat Root River Koochiching, St. Louis Headwaters to 12b boundary 21 A northern stream rising in the Kabetogama State Forest and flowing eventually to the Rainy River. Very little cultural intrusion with a heavily forested watershed. Flat Glacial lake country with much swamp and muskeg. Light fishing and canoe use. Scenic Rainy Lake 1982
Rat Root River, East Branch Koochiching, St. Louis Headwaters to Koochiching/St. Louis county line/ Eastern boundary of the Kabetogama State Forest 13 Small, meandering stream flowing through LaCroix Ranger District-Kabetogama Purchase Unit. Scenic Rainy Lake 1982/ 1993
Red Lake River Pennington ,Polk, Red Lake Thief Falls dam to Folsom Park dam just west of 3rd Ave. SE in Grand Forks upstream 126 Drains the Red Lakes system of North Central Minnesota. Flows through mainly flat forest and swamp country with heavily forested watershed. Canoeing good with some white water areas. Recreational, Scenic Red Lake 1982
Rice River St. Louis Big Rice Lake to Virginia Ranger District to Cook Airport 37 Flows through area of intermediate hills and swamp country. Scenic Scenic Little Fork 1982/ 1993
Root River Houston, Fillmore Headwaters to mouth at Mississippi River 82 Flows through southeastern Minnesota hill country and extensive Richard J. Dover Memorial Hardwood Forest. Upper portion has high limestone and sandstone bluffs. Watershed generally forested with some bottomland agriculture. Fair to good trout fishing. Good recreation potential. Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Coon-Yellow 1982
Roseau River Roseau, Beltrami Mulligan Lake to Hays Lake impoundment 22 An international river, half of which is located in Province of Manitoba. Flows through flat northwestern Minnesota area of vast swamps and peatland. Generally low recreational use. Scenic Roseau 1982
Rum River Anoka, Mille Lacs, Isanti Sewage treatment plant at Princeton to State Hospital in Anoka 85 A very good east central Minnesota river flowing through rolling hill country to the Mississippi River. Farmland is prevalent in the area but the corridor is generally well wooded. Lower segment has some moderate cultural intrusion. High existing recreational use. Good canoe river. An existing component of State Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Very meandering in upper portion. Recreational Rum 1982
Sand Creek Pine Confluence with Pickle Creek to mouth at St. Croix River 31 A small tributary of the St. Croix River flowing several miles through St. Croix State Park. Relatively little cultural development. It has a heavily wooded watershed in lower reaches with some farming in upper portion. Generally not canoeable but is used for trout fishing. Good water quality. Scenic Upper St. Croix 1982
Sauk River Stearns Headwaters at Lake Osakis downstream to Richmond- excluding Sauk Lake 83 A central Minnesota river flowing through primarily farm country with some forest areas in watershed. Receives low to medium fishing and floating use. Scenic Sauk 1982
Schoolcraft River Hubbard Headwaters to mouth at Plantagenet Lake 29 A small stream flowing through a heavily forested watershed with many low, swampy areas in the corridor. Majority of this segment lies within Paul Bunyan State Forest. Low to moderate recreational use. Scenic Mississippi Headwaters 1982
Shell River Wadena Lower Twin Lake to confluence with Crow Wing River 9 A short segment all within the Huntersville State Forest. Watershed generally forested with some farmed land. River banks are mostly tree lined. Low recreational use. Scenic Crow Wing 1982
Shell Rock River Freeborn Albert Lea Lake to Minnesota boundary 12 Flows through southern Minnesota farm country originating at Albert Lea Lake, with the major portion being in Iowa. A relatively small stream in Minnesota portion. Good canoeing and limited fishing. Recreational Shell Rock 1982
Snake River Aitkin, Kanabec S.R. 65 above Mora in Kanabec County to S.R. 65 crossing at McGrath 39 Upper portion has some very wild and scenic areas. Has some difficult rapids through high granite walled gorges. Very scenic. Lower segment is more placid with long quiet pools. A good recreational river with some challenging canoeing. Fair fishing. Authorized for study for State Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Recreational, Scenic Snake 1982
St. Francis River Sherburne Northern boundary of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge near Benton County line to confluence with Elk River 46 Lower portion flows through area of fairly heavy agriculture. Corridor generally well wooded. Low to moderate recreational use. Flows for many miles through Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge. Scenic Clearwater-Elk 1982
Sturgeon River St. Louis Confluence with Dark River to confluence with Little Fork River 28 Flow through generally flat northern MN forest, swamp, and farming country. Designated trout stream. Scenic Scenic Little Fork 1982/ 1993
Temperance River Cook Marsh Lake to mouth at Lake Superior 27 Begins as gentle stream in uplands and flows last few miles over rapids, falls, and through deep, rocky gorges. Provides excellent fishing opportunities. Scenic Baptism-Brule 1982/ 1993
Turtle River Beltrami Headwaters to mouth at Mississippi River 49 A northern tributary to the upper Mississippi River. Flows through flat, forested and sometimes swampy watershed in the Chippewa National Forest and Leech Lake Indian Reservation. A number of archeological sites occur along river. Moderate floating and fishing use. Historic Mississippi Headwaters 1982
Vermilion River St. Louis Dam at Vermilion Lake to Vermilion Gorge 42 Flows from rapids and narrow rocky gorges to large expanses of water surrounded by bog. Popular for canoeing, fishing, wild rice gathering, and waterfowl hunting. Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Vermilion 1982/ 1993
Whiteface River St. Louis Whiteface Reservoir to mouth Saint Louis River 64 A relatively gentle river flowing through a fairly flat watershed with a few rolling hills. Watershed is about 80 percent forested and 20 percent farmed. Many tamarack and spruce swamps. Moderate fishing and boating use. Scenic St. Louis 1982
Wild Rice River Clearwater, Norman, Mahnomen Lower Rice Lake toTwin Valley 97 A very interesting river segment in western Minnesota flowing though forested and sometimes heavily farmed watershed. A meandering river with a generally well wooded corridor. A major portion is within the White Earth Indian Reservation and a small part of upper segment is in White Earth State Forest. Heavy recreational demand on river. Recreational, Scenic Eastern Wild Rice 1982
Willow River Aitkin Confluence with Hill River to mouth at Mississippi River 38 A meandering stream flowing through generally flat north central Minnesota. Watershed fairly well forested with farming heavy in some areas. Much swamp-marsh land. Low to moderate canoeing and fishing usage Scenic Elk-Nokasippi 1982

Last updated: November 30, 2016

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