Northeastern Minnesota has always been known for its rugged landscape and hardy inhabitants. Forested and water rich, this landscape is a gift from glaciers that once covered this area 10,000 years ago. To Minnesotans, the "North Shore" means Lake Superior, in all its majesty, its shining waters stretching to the horizon. The North Shore is where Superior's craggy shoreline meets Minnesota's forested wilderness. Miniature mountains blanketed by pine and birch stand watch along the shore. Wilderness streams plunge over waterfalls. Harbor towns are nestled at irregular intervals along the shore. Glacial melt waters formed Lake Superior, as well as the myriad of lakes and wetlands that dot northeastern Minnesota’s landscape. These fragile lakes and wetlands persist in abundance principally because glaciers receded without the development of extensive drainage systems.