Minnesota: Wright County

East of Meeker County, we reach Wright County (pop. 124,700) and the 13-county Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Statistical Area – 16th largest in the country with a total population of 3,317,308.

The metropolitan area includes two Wisconsin counties.

The county seat is the town of Buffalo (pop. 15,453). It was named for the fish, not the mammal.

Buffalo Lake, downtown Buffalo, in January

The population of Wright County has grown tremendously in the past 40 years because of its proximity to Minneapolis.

Lake Maria State Park was established in 1963 to provide a wilderness area near the Twin Cities. It is known for its trails through forest and prairie, as well as for its wildlife – including the endangered (in some states, but not Minnesota) Blanding’s turtles.

Proposed in 1998 as the state reptile, but not enacted

Interstate Highway 94 runs diagonally across the northern edge of Wright County.

The town of Albertville, along I-94 in the northeastern corner of the county, is best known for the Albertville Premium Outlets. The town’s population grew from 564 in 1980 to 7,044 in 2010.

100 stores

The town of Annandale, with 26 lakes within a 10-mile radius, is known as the “Heart of the Lakes.”

West Lake Sylvia

Much of the 1998 movie “A Simple Plan” was filmed in the town of Delano (pop. 5,464).

Rated 89% on Rotten Tomatoes

The town of Cokato (pop. 2,694) hosts the Cokato Corn Carnival every August. For $3, you get all-you-can-eat corn on the cob.