With a 2019 US Census population estimate of 14,146, Sauk Rapids, Minnesota is the largest city in Benton County. Named after the river rapids on the Sauk River's mouth on the Mississippi River, the town was first settled in 1851. It grew along the eastern banks of the Mississippi and became one of the prominent cities in Minnesota.
The town was hit by a devastating tornado in 1886, killing 44 people and injuring several hundred. And although the town was rebuilt and grew, Sauk Rapids never achieved its prior prominence in the state.
Sauk Rapids is part of the St. Cloud Metropolitan area. That cluster includes St. Cloud, Waite Park, and Sartell. It's located northeast of St. Cloud. The metro area is bordered on the south by Interstate 94. The metro area is served by Minnesota State Highways 10, 23 and 15.
Amtrak's "Empire Builder" provides daily service along its Chicago to Pacific Northwest route.
Sauk Rapids' climate typically includes warm, humid summers and cold winters and moderate to heavy snowfall.