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Wisconsin vs. Minnesota: Lakes

Breann Schossow and Ashley Krautkramer

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Minnesota

Rumor has it that Wisconsin has more lakes than Minnesota. After extensive fact checking, I was disappointed to learn that this is indeed true – by several thousand or so. But, there’s a reason Minnesota is the land of lakes, and Wisconsin is, well, not.

First off, the title itself rolls of the tongue better when paired with Minnesota – and, our license plates that brag about are lakes are prettier.

Second, all but four of the counties in Minnesota have at least one natural lake – and those that don’t make their own. So, it’s not for lack of trying that the state doesn’t have more lakes. And, as so often is in life, bigger is not always better. Quality is what is truly desired.

So, Wisconsin, you may have more water – but, tourism deems that Minnesota’s is better. -BS

Wisconsin

If Minnesota is the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” then Wisconsin is the “Land of more lakes than Minnesota.”

Wisconsin boasts over 15,000 lakes within the state and an estimated 1017 miles of shore along the Great Lakes. Minnesota, on the other hand, can only tout exposure to one of the Great Lakes and their trademark 10,000 lakes within the state.

Aside from the number of lakes, there is a huge disparity between the amount of water in general in each state. Wisconsin is over 17% water by area, while Minnesota is only about 8%. Wisconsin’s lakes win out beneath the surface, too. Wisconsin’s deepest lake is almost 30 feet deeper than Minnesota’s.

Whether your activity of choice is swimming, boating or fishing, there are over 5,000 more lakes to choose from in Wisconsin. -AK

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5 Comments

5 Responses to “Wisconsin vs. Minnesota: Lakes”

  1. Ron on January 19th, 2014 7:09 pm

    Wisconsin has more “lakes”……the problem with that is this. Most of Wisconsin’s inland lakes are about 4 acres in size. Minnesota doesn’t consider a body of water a lake if it is under 10 acres in size. If Minnesota used the same criteria, Minnesota could claim to have way more than 20,000 lakes. If Wisconsin used Minnesota’s criteria, Wisconsin would have only about 6,000 lakes.
    Also…..the eight largest inland lakes in Minnesota have more surface area than all of Wisconsin’s 15,000 “lakes” combined.

    So it’s pretty ridiculous and far-fetched to say that Wisconsin has more lakes!

  2. kirby on March 20th, 2016 7:51 am

    Minnesota has more area of inland water than any other state. the closest rival is Michigan and they count parts of three Great Lakes in their total. the Minnesota Wisconsin rivalry is extremely friendly. it’s just those silly American football fans that make is serious.

  3. Tiffany on May 12th, 2018 6:20 pm

    Nope not in 2017. They found lakes that have been discovered in Minnesota.

    Wisconsin. Has 15,074 lakes
    Minnesota has 28,176 lakes

    So Minnesota still has wayyyyyy more lakes then Wisconsin does.

  4. Phil Olson on August 23rd, 2018 11:24 am

    Yeah. Find that a little ridiculous since satellite imagery has been around for more than 30 years. And MN was survived as a state in the early 1800’s Things that you read in the onion are not true. Even the north, south, and peak of every mountain top have been explored. I seriously doubt the mighty back woods of MN weren’t treked until 2017

  5. Kyle Mohr on September 26th, 2018 1:21 pm

    Unless USGS receives a specific request from the Minnesota government or the NFS, satellite imagery means absolutely nothing, it’s simply discarded or archived without human eyes ever laying on them (I work in the industry). Heck, one of the buildings I worked in had a pond next to it that was never mapped or recorded until one of the guys Google Earthed it and went about an eighth of a mile from the parking lot behind a bunch of trees and found it. Wasn’t even on the surveyor’s maps. This was 2016 and the building and surrounding area had been imaged over a hundred times.

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Wisconsin vs. Minnesota: Lakes