Henderson, Bloomington, Shakopee, Chaska, Belle Plaine, LeSueur, Saint Peter, Mankato, New Ulm...

The Minnesota River has been a transportation corridor for several cultures over thousands of years.  Villages of American Indians and cities settled by persons of European heritage have clustered along the river and in some cases in the same locations at river crossings and junctions of several rivers.  The charm of living in a rivertown is that the river is close by, but sometimes it is too close during the springtime floods.  Every rivertown has memories and stories of floods of the past and measures underway to control floods of the future.  By contrast, American Indians were able to quickly relocate their villages whenever flooding was a threat.

Today, tourists are encouraged to visit rivertown and participate in their cultural and recreational activities, many of which occur in the river or on the riverfront.  Visitors will find a mixture of old and new in rivertowns with many buildings dating from the 19th century while modern buildings reflect the diversification of local economies.  Manufacturing plants, business parks and tourism businesses are now complementing agricultural product shipping and services to the faming community as the basis for the economies of rivertowns.  New parks and open spaces are being developed in some rivertowns as homes and businesses are relocated from flood prone areas.  The Minnesota River regularly changes its 335 mile long course as towns along its banks are regularly changing was well in interesting ways.