A drop of rain water falling here in the Giants Range, a rare three-way continental divide, may flow either north into icy Hudson Bay, east into the Atlantic Ocean, or south into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
From the north slope of these very old granite ridges, streams flow into the Red River of the North, through Lake Winnipeg, and into Hudson Bay in northern Canada.
Creeks and rivers on the south slope flow into the St. Louis River, enter Lake Superior at Duluth, and eventually reach the north Atlantic through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.
On a western spur of Giants Range the great watershed of the immense Mississippi River system gathers the flow from a maze of streams and swamps as the legendary river begins its winding course from Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico, more than 2,500 miles away.
Lying as it does near the center of the North American continent, Minnesota marks the transition between eastern woodlands and western prairies and between northern coniferous forests and rich grain-growing lands of the mid-nation. It is a land of dramatic differences, tied to the world through three great waterways that originate in these rocks and streams.