Minnesota's waters flow in three
The water flow is dependent upon which watershed the water is
in. Depending on the lie of the
continental divides, Minnesota waters flow either to Hudson Bay, the Gulf of Mexico or the
In September of 1823, Count
Beltrami, an Italian explorer, landed on the
south shore of Lake Julia, near Bemidji, Minnesota. He thought he had discovered the
source of the Mississippi River. Count Beltrami named Lake Julia after an Italian court
Actually, the waters of Lake Julia flow into the Mud River, which flows into Lower Red
Lake. From there, the water flows into the Red Lake River, then to the Red River flowing
north. The water eventually flows into Hudson Bay, 1,900 miles away from the
Divide located here. Called the "Top of the World", elevation of 1,400 feet
above sea level, where the waters a few feet apart flow north to Hudson Bay and south,
3,200 miles to the Gulf of Mexico.
This spot was one of the first European settlements in this section, with the first
county fair held there in 1904. It is also the location of a portion of the Leech Lake/Red
Lake Trail, the major route of travel at that time.
Long and Peterson Lakes flow into Little Turtle Lake. Water from Little Turtle Lake
runs into Big Turtle, Movil, Fox, Three Island to Turtle River Lake, Turtle
River, Rice and Kitchie Lakes to Cass Lake to reach the Mississippi River.
Some people dispute the theory that the Mississippi River source is at Itasca
State Park. They claim the source to be from Lake Julia at the Continental Divide, 15 miles
north of Bemidji, Minnesota.