Minnesotans Debate Where “Up North” Begins
"Up North." We refer to it all the time, but where does it actually begin?
I'm not originally from Minnesota, so I didn't grow up familiar with "Up North" culture. As a kid in Illinois, all of Minnesota was "Up North." Of course, when you live in Minnesota, "Up North" looks different. My wife's family lives in Fergus Falls; I don't consider that "Up North." The furthest north I've travelled -- at least as far as the state of Minnesota -- is Grand Marais, which I think very few would contest is not considered "Up North."
Turns out, however, that there's no clear definition of what "Up North" means in Minnesota or where it starts. Drawing inspiration from Reddit user umopapisdnpuaq, I shared his homemade graphic to Facebook to see what Minnesotans had to say on the matter.
In a matter of hours the post received dozens upon dozens of comments.
"Depends where you are from," commented Ben Halbert. "Many think above 3 is Up North or feels like it is, technically it's more like 5 or above."
"All of Minnesota is up north," joked Todd Olin.
"My dad said anything north of Brainerd," shared Erma Frank.
Answers varied, but I took the time to tally up replies to see if any areas stood out more than the rest. Sure enough, the general consensus was that "Up North" starts at 4 or 5 with a near-tie between the two. The third most popular answer was line 3 with several people calling Brainerd, specifically, the point where "Up North" begins. Line 6 received just a few votes, lines 2 and 7 received two and one respectively, and lines 1 and 8 received no votes.
Where do you think "Up North" begins in Minnesota?
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