Despite a small percentage of farmers, production includes sugar beets, corn and green peas and also turkeys. Minnesota has extensive forests for logging and paper production. Taconite ore from the area around Duluth is still a major source of iron ore, and coal is shipped from the port of Duluth as well. The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul dominate the state and the economy. Of the state’s five million people, nearly three million live in the metropolitan area of the Twin Cities. Minneapolis has its own branch of the Federal Reserve Bank. Major corporations headquartered in Saint Paul include Travelers Insurance, formerly part of the Citicorp Group, Ecolab, a chemical and cleaning product company, and Minnesota Life an insurance company.
Duluth has a population of about 90,000 and is an important port on Lake Superior, and through the Great Lakes, which are connected to the St. Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean. Its neighbor and twin port in Superior, Wisconsin. It is a seaport at the westernmost point on the north shore of Lake Superior. The two cities share a harbor and are one of the most important ports on the Great Lakes. Among the items shipped out are iron ore and grain. Duluth has America’s only all freshwater aquarium, the Great Lakes Aquarium. Duluth is also a center for outdoor recreation. Nearby is the Spirit Mountain Recreation Area, created in 1973. Skiing can be enjoyed in many ways, including cross-country, and downhill. At ski areas you may see people using alpine, snowboard, cross country and other specialized ski equipment. Around Duluth, in the northeastern region of Minnesota, there are over 1,600 lakes for visitors to enjoy. Further south, between Duluth and the Twin Cities, is the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area. This is the gateway to the Chippewa National Forest, and also home of four gold courses, known as the Grand Slam of Golf. Snowmobiling, along marked trails is a fun pastime in this area during the winter.