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Bemidji, Minnesota, is known as the ‘golden city’ located along the river bank just miles away from the infamous Headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River, and it is here the Mississippi River begins its over 2,500 mile Journey south to the Gulf of Mexico.
The River is also the most well known of all rivers and spans almost the entire length of the United States.
Getting its start at Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota, the most narrow stretch of the Mississippi River spans just 20 to 30 feet wide.
The widest part of this amazing River can be found at Lake Winnibigoshish, which is located near Bena, Minnesota.
Here the river spans more than 11 miles wide with the widest shipping channel area of the Mississippi found at Lake Pepin, where it spans an impressive 2 miles, making it wide enough for most ships to easily pass through.
My children were actually really surprised to see how small the Headwaters were compared to the River itself and really enjoyed seeing the ‘start’ of the Mississippi as well as learning about the History of the River and the Bemidji area, in general.
While visiting the town of Bemidji, be sure to stop and visit the Tourist Information Center which is located on the beautiful shores of Lake Bemidji.
At this Information Center you will find the nationwide famous statues of Paul Bunyon – a legendary lumberjack who is well known in these areas, along with his pet blue ox, Babe. Statues large and small of Paul and Babe are known to be found in many of the Northern Minnesota towns considered to be ‘Northwoods’ and beyond.
For those who love the Arts, the Bemidji Sculpture Walk gets its start at the Tourist Information Center as well and is an interesting stop for visitors to explore while there.
Visitors to the Bemidji area have a nice variety of other activities to choose from in addition to viewing the Headwaters of the Mississippi River.
There are plenty of souvenir and other shops to choose from, theater performances you can watch and enjoy during your down time, or many restaurants to choose from for a tasty meal after a day of sight-seeing.
If the outdoors, nature, and wildlife is more your thing, you can walk, hike, or bike to explore the parks or the many trails found in the surrounding forest.
In the winter months, snowmobiling, snow boarding, and skiing are popular activities as is fishing during certain parts of all the seasons as well.
You will love the rich, interesting history that can be found in Bemidji, making this quiet little town a must to stop at during your travels through northern Minnesota.
For more information about Bemidji, please visit http://www.ci.bemidji.mn.us