Where the Red River intersects the communities of Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo, you can expect an upscale, metropolitan adventure honed with a profound sense of history.
RED RIVER AREA IN NORTH DAKOTA
The French call it Rivière Rouge, the Germans call it Roter Fluss and Americans call it Red River or the Red River of the North. As it is mostly in the North part of America, it will be called the Red River for the remainder of this article.
Starting at the merging of the Bois de Sioux and Otter Tail rivers between the U.S. states of Minnesota and North Dakota, it flows northward through the Red River Valley, forming the border of Minnesota and North Dakota and extending into Manitoba, Canada. It discharges into Lake Winnipeg, whose waters join the Nelson River and at long last comes to an end as it flows into the Hudson Bay, which is considered part of the Arctic Ocean.
The Red River flows through many urban areas along its course, including those of Fargo-Moorhead and Grand Forks in the United States and Winnipeg in Canada. The Red is about 550 miles long, of which about 395 miles are in the United States and about 158 miles are in Canada. The river falls 230 ft on its trip to Lake Winnipeg where it disperses into the wetland known as Netley Marsh.
This is a map of the Red River Floodway using Digital Chart of the World data. National Resources Canada map here used as reference. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On an important note, 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, and that forms part of the border between Texas and Oklahoma.
The river basin of the Red River was part of Rupert’s Land, the Hudson’s Bay Company concession in north central North America. The Red River was an important trade route for the company and led to the settlement of British North America. The river was used by fur traders, including the Métis people (Aboriginal peoples in Canada), and by the colonists of the Red River Colony, the chief village of which eventually became Winnipeg, Manitoba. The river gave its name to the Red River Trails, nineteenth-century oxcart trails which affirmed this trade, also these villages, and which led to further growth of the region on both sides of the international border.