Knife River, Minnesota

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Knife River, Minnesota
Unincorporated community
Knife River, Minnesota is located in Minnesota
Knife River, Minnesota
Knife River, Minnesota
Location of the community of Knife River
within Lake County
Coordinates: 46°56′58″N 91°46′45″W / 46.94944°N 91.77917°W / 46.94944; -91.77917Coordinates: 46°56′58″N 91°46′45″W / 46.94944°N 91.77917°W / 46.94944; -91.77917
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Lake
Elevation 600 ft (200 m)
 • Total 230
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 55609
Area code(s) 218
GNIS feature ID 646206[1]

Knife River is an unincorporated community in Lake County, Minnesota, United States; located on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

The community is located between Duluth and Two Harbors on the North Shore Scenic Drive (County 61), at the mouth of the Knife River, from which it gets its name.

Knife River is located 8 miles southwest of the city of Two Harbors. The boundary line between Lake and Saint Louis counties is nearby.

Knife River is located within Lake No. 2 Unorganized Territory of Lake County.


The community of Knife River was originally established in 1856 as Buchanan, located on the west side of the Knife River. A separate community of Mellie, located on the east side of the river was platted in 1899 following the building of the Alger–Smith Lumber Company's railroad in 1898; Mellie changed its name to Knife River in 1903. The two communities incorporated themselves as the village of Knife River on October 2, 1909; but since have returned to being an unincorporated community.