Paddle part of the 318-mile Minnesota River

Free event part of National Get Outdoors Day

Paddlers are invited to join together to paddle every navigable mile of the Minnesota River on Saturday, June 10, which is National Get Outdoors Day. 

Paddling the Minnesota River

The goal is to get as many people as possible working together to cover all 318 miles of the Minnesota River State Water Trail. Paddlers can join Department of Natural Resources-led trips between Belle Plaine and Carver or form their own groups.

“The Minnesota River connects so many people in our state,” said Alexander Watson, regional naturalist for Minnesota state parks and trails. “We look forward to feeling connected with paddlers along the entire length of the river on June 10. Last year, more than 200 people participated and collectively covered all 318 miles of the river.”

There is no charge to participate, but paddlers must register by contacting Watson at alexander.watson@state.mn.us. Kayaks and canoes are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Minnesota River State Water Trail starts at the headwaters near Big Stone Lake in Ortonville and joins the Mississippi River in St. Paul. It flows through diverse terrain, ranging from steep granite bluffs to marshy lowlands and agricultural areas. It is a gentle, placid river, with the only rapids on the river near Granite Falls.

To commit to a stretch of river or learn more about the event, visit www.mndnr.gov/riverinaday or contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday).