The Minnesota DNR estimates there are over 15-thousand springs throughout the state. Most of those springs, though, are unmapped.
However, the DNR has recently uncovered a century old map of springs in Northern Minnesota.
Now the DNR is using this piece of history while traveling along the North Shore.
"It's about 5 feet long and has about 50 spring locations on it," said Greg Brick, a research analyst at the Minnesota DNR.
A nearly 100-year-old linen map was recently found deep within the DNR files.
Brick explained, "we located a map from 1922 that was drafted by Thaddeus Surber who is the so called superintendent of fish propagation back then, and he was looking for cold water resources to raise trout and so on."
The DNR estimates there are more than 15,000 springs throughout the state. Some are even in our back yard.
"And he found them abundantly on the North Shore," said Brick.
Now, Brick is heading up highway 61 to verify those documented springs.
"The first phase of this project has been heavily data mining," Brick said. "Mining out this so called legacy data, springs that have been mapped in the past, and their locations, any characteristics, temperature and so on."
And it's all possible with a grant that goes through 2019.
"A lot of these springs are related to providing cold water resources for trout and they supply calcareous fens, which are rare plants," Brick described. "So they are important ecologically and it's important to know where they are."
Some of these springs are hard to get to.
"Take a lot of hiking through absolutely trackless forest to recover some. So there's no hoping we'll get to all 50 locations any time soon," Brick said.
The DNR is also asking the public for help in reporting any springs through an app on their website.
So all locations will be documented in a digital Minnesota spring inventory, and the original map can be stored away safely at the Minnesota Historical Society.
"This is it's last trip abroad so to speak," said Brick. "And then after this it's going to be probably have a backing put on it, and get some tender loving care it hasn't had this past century."
To report any springs in your area, click here.