Red River of the North

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The Red River (French: Rivière rouge or AmE: Red River of the North) is a North American river. Originating at the confluence of the Bois de Sioux and Otter Tail rivers in the United States, it flows northward through the Red River Valley and forms the border between the U.S. states of Minnesota and North Dakota before continuing into Manitoba, Canada. It empties into Lake Winnipeg, whose waters join the Nelson River and ultimately flow into the Hudson Bay, which is part of the Arctic Ocean.

The Red River flows through several urban areas along its path including Fargo-Moorhead and Greater Grand Forks in the United States and Winnipeg in Canada. The Red is about 885 kilometres (550 miles) long,[2] of which about 635 kilometres (395 miles) are in the United States and about 255 kilometres (155 miles) are in Canada.[3] The river falls 70 metres (230 ft) on its trip to Lake Winnipeg where it spreads into the vast deltaic wetland known as Netley Marsh.

In the United States, the Red River is sometimes called the Red River of the North, to distinguish it from the Red River that is a tributary of the Mississippi River, which forms part of the border between Texas and Oklahoma.

Long a highway for trade, the Red has been designated as a Canadian Heritage River.



The watershed of the Red River was part of Rupert's Land, the Hudson's Bay Company concession in north central North America. The Red was a key trade route for the company, and contributed to the settlement of British North America. The stream was used by fur traders, including the Métis people, and by the settlers of the Red River Colony, the primary settlement of which eventually became Winnipeg, Manitoba. The river gave its name to the Red River Trails, nineteenth-century oxcart trails which supported this trade and these settlements, and which led to further development of the region on both sides of the international border.

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