Lake Bemidji

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Lake Bemidji
Lake Bemidji DSC 0211 (641346227).jpg
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Lake Bemidji, near the headwaters of the Mississippi River
Location Beltrami County, Minnesota, U.S.
Coordinates 47°28′19″N 094°52′35″W / 47.47194°N 94.87639°W / 47.47194; -94.87639Coordinates: 47°28′19″N 094°52′35″W / 47.47194°N 94.87639°W / 47.47194; -94.87639
Primary inflows Mississippi River
Primary outflows Mississippi River
Basin countries United States
Surface area 28 km2 (11 sq mi)

Lake Bemidji is a small glacially-formed lake, approximately 11 mi² (28 km²) in area, in northern Minnesota in the United States. Located less than 50 mi (80 km) downstream from the source of the Mississippi River, it both receives and is drained by the Mississippi.


The lake is located in southern Beltrami County, near the city of Bemidji, which sits on its southwestern shore. Due to the shape of Lakes Bemidji and Irving, according to folk legends, Lakes Bemidji and Irving were formed in Paul Bunyan's footprint. The Ojibwe described the Lakes Bemidji and Irving collectively as a single lake being a bimijigamaa (lake that traverses another body of water), thus the Ojibwe name the lake as Bemijigamaag-zaaga'igan (Traversing Lake), since the lake is considered to traverse the Mississippi River.[1]

On occasion in Ojibwe, the city of Bemidji is called Wabigamaang (at the lake channel/narrows), since part of the city is situated on the Lakes Bemidji-Irving narrows, located on the south end of Lake Bemidji.

The lake is a popular recreational and resort destination. Lake Bemidji State Park is along its northern shore.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gilfillan, Joseph A. "Minnesota Geographical Names Derived from the Chippewa Language" in The Geological and Natural History Survey of Minnesota: The Fifteenth Annual Report for the Year 1886 (St. Paul: Pioneer Press Company, 1887)

External links[edit]