The Minnesota River Valley holds a special place in the history of Minnesota. Carved out of glacial Lake Minnesota and the glacial River Warren, the Minnesota River is the longest tributary in Minnesota that enters into the Mississippi River. Where the Minnesota River flows into the Mississippi River, the flow of the Mississippi doubles.
The Dakota people had named the river 'Minnesota'. When the government formed a new territory that would include the river valley and the surrounding land, they called it 'Minnesota Territory' after the river.
This is an area that treasures its pioneer heritage. It is the birthplace of Minnesota icons as diverse as the Mayo Brothers and the Jolly Green Giant. It is a place for duck hunters and pheasant hunters to come from all areas of the state. Hardwood forests, 3.8 billion year old granite outcrops, and lush prairie grasses remain for visitors to enjoy. State and local parks dot the valley, inviting tourists to get out-of-doors all year long, while museums and historic sites offer vivid stories of prairie life. Today, agricultural activities account for nearly 90% of the land use in the conservation region. The river flows through some of the richest agricultural land in the state if not the world.