Olmsted One of Only Four Counties Missing a Key Piece of Minnesota
Olmsted County may have a lot going for it, but it is one of only four counties that are missing this quintessential piece of Minnesota.
I have to say, even though I've lived here in southeast Minnesota for nearly a decade already, I was a little surprised to stumble on this piece of Minnesota trivia. It started when I was talking about The 10 Things Minnesotans Are Too Nice To Brag About with a former coworker who's from Minnesota but now lives out in California.
He mentioned that Olmsted County was the only Minnesota county to NOT have any natural lakes. What?!? Is this true, I wondered? I turned to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for the answer. And, as it turns out, my friend was only partly correct. While it's true that Olmsted County doesn't have any natural lakes, we're not the only county where that's the case.
Mower County (in our neck of the woods), Pipestone County (on Minnesota's western border with South Dakota) and Rock County (just south of Pipestone County, in the very southwest corner of Minnesota) are the three other counties in addition to Olmsted County that don't have any natural lakes either. Every one of Minnesota's other 83 counties have at least one natural lake 10 acres or larger.
It's kind of weird to think that we're living in Minnesota-- The Land of 10,000 Lakes-- and yet we reside in a county where there AREN'T any lakes, isn't it? Well, of course, we DO have some lakes, and according to this Rochester Water Primer, they include the six reservoirs created by dams. And then there's Silver Lake, Cascade Lake, Foster Arend Lake and Chester Lake at Chester Woods Park. Even part of Lake Zumbro is in Olmsted County. And, of course, there's the pond/water feature at Quarry Hill Nature Center too.
But, when it comes to natural lakes, we've got bupkis. Compare that to Otter Tail County (about 4 and a half hours northwest of Rochester in west-central Minnesota), which has 1,048 naturally-occurring lakes. That impressive total is the most of any county not just here in Minnesota, but in the entire United States. Impressive!
Perhaps you already knew about the lack of natural lakes here in our backyard. But just how well do you know your Olmsted County locations? Keep scrolling to see how many of these locations you can identify... from above!