St. Cloud, Minnesota is the county seat of Stearns County in Central Minnesota. The city lies in three counties -- mostly Stearns County, but also Benton and Sherburne Counties. The Mississippi River bisects the city, provides power for the city-owned hydroelectric dam.
The area was intially a crossroads for hundred of oxcarts, traveling with furs and supplies between St. Paul to the southwest and the Canadian border in North Dakota. Today it's located just north of Interstate 94 and is served by Minnesota State Highways 10, 23 and 15. Amtrak's "Empire Builder" provides daily service along its Chicago to Pacific Northwest route. The St. Cloud Regional Airport is a hub for private aviation and scheduled charter service. The airport is also the home to the Minnesota Army National Guard's Blackhawk helicopter base.
Up until the early 20th century, steamboats paddled along the Mississippi, and granite quarries have been mined in the area since the 1880s. St. Cloud was also the home to the Pan Motor Company in 1917.
St. Cloud is a mecca for regional conferences, trade shows and other events because of its size, amenities and central location within the state. The River's Edge Convention Center overlooks the Mississippi downtown.
St. Cloud's climate typically includes warm, humid summers and cold winters and moderate to heavy snowfall.
St. Cloud State University, a four-year liberal arts public university and Minnesota's third-largest public university, is located just south of the downtown entertainment district along the Mississippi River. The St. Cloud State Huskies men's hockey team play in The Herb Brooks National Hockey Center on the eastern end of the campus. Other university teams play in the nearby Husky Dome.
In addition to SCSU, St. Cloud is home to several other schools of higher education including The St. Cloud Technical and Community College. The area is also known for the private sibling schools The College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph and St. John's University in Collegeville.