The Northern Divide

I never realized there were so many watershed divides in North America. The Laurentian Divide also called the Northern Divide is a continental divide in central North America that separates the Hudson Bay watershed to the north from the Gulf of Mexico watershed to the south and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence watershed to the southeast. Water north of the divide flows to Hudson Bay; water south of the divide and below the St. Lawrence Divide flows to the Gulf of Mexico.

The divide hosts two triple divide points, one at its origin on Triple Divide Peak, in Glacier National Park, Montana (Missed it by a few miles) where it intersects the Continental Divide, usually considered the hydrological apex of North America. The other triple divide is at Hill of Three Waters near Hibbing, Minnesota where it intersects the St. Lawrence divide. (I drove thru Hibbing but did not stop) This is not a summit, but a highland plains where the watersheds of the Mississippi, Nelson and St. Lawrence River (which flows to the Gulf of St. Lawrence) meet.

I’ll be passing the St. Laurence divide in the next few weeks. I keep meaning to pour a cup of water over the divide to see if the water really moves in two directions. But I would have to pinpoint the exact location probably to less than an inch.

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