Did You Know Olmsted County Is Missing a Classic Part of Minnesota?
Olmsted County sure has a lot going for it, but it's missing this classic part of Minnesota-- which is especially noticeable during this heatwave we're experiencing right now.
The news that the city of Rochester's Parks and Rec Department is temporarily closing both Soldiers Field and Silver Lake swimming pools (even though the Silver Lake pool hadn't even opened yet) until they can get a handle on how to keep everyone safe (given the unruly behavior that had been exhibited at Soldiers Field pool last weekend) got me looking into other places one could go to get in the water and cool off. Like a lake, maybe.
After all, Minnesota IS the Land of 10,000 Lakes, right? It's right there on our license plates, and spending time at the lake is at the core of Minnesota's DNA, isn't it? But it was then, after perusing several pages on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website, that I was reminded that here in Olmsted County, there AREN'T any naturally occurring lakes. Not a one.
Now, we're not alone in our dearth of natural lakes. 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. But that's it-- every one of Minnesota's other 83 counties have at least one natural lake 10 acres or larger.
When you think about it, it's kind of weird to be living in Minnesota-- the afore-mentioned Land of 10,000 Lakes-- and yet 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 other obscure facts about the North Star State? Keep scrolling to see how many of these facts about Minnesota you know.