Land Ownership Information for Minnesota

Portion of Stearns County platbook Portion of the Stearns County plat book

(Courtesy of Stearns County Auditor / Division of Land Management.
Copyright Stearns County.)

Who owns land in Minnesota? How much is publicly owned and how much is private? This overview site provides links to information available to help answer such questions, ranging from property boundary maps to statewide inventories of public land to fascinating histories of how land ownership patterns developed over time.

Property boundaries
Statewide inventories of public land
Historical and educational resources
State land for sale
Contact and update information

Property boundaries

Property boundary basemaps and ownership records are maintained at the county level, usually by the recorder's, assessor's or land surveyor's office. Many counties keep records in digital (computer-readable) format and an increasing number of counties are providing property information websites for use by the general public. Note that the boundaries shown on the maps and the GIS data sets are approximate -- they are not substitutes for certified property surveys, legal property descriptions or detailed plat maps. Property records may also be referred to as parcel, cadastral, real estate or real property records.

Statewide inventories of public land

Several inventories have assessed overall patterns of public land ownership in Minnesota. These inventories are snapshots in time, primarily from the mid-1980s and earlier, and are intended for overview and general planning purposes.

More information on general inventories
 

Historical and educational resources

A number of online and printed maps, atlases and reports reveal historical land ownership patterns and describe underlying forces influencing the ownership landscape we see today.

View or download digital copies of historic Minnesota township plat maps collected during the original Public Land Survey.

More information on historical and educational resources
 

State land for sale

Occasionally, state land is sold. Check the following websites:

Related land sale and property search site:

  • MNProspector: Site location tool of available commercial land,sites and buildings throughout Minnesota from the Department of Employment and Economic Development
     

Contact and update information

The information above represents MnGeo's most up-to-date understanding of land ownership data for Minnesota. If you know of other publicly available land ownership information sources, please contact the Minnesota Geospatial Information Office at:  clearing.house@state.mn.us, (651) 201-2489 or 658 Cedar Street, Room 300, St. Paul, MN 55155.

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