Brainerd is a city in Crow Wing County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 13,178 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Crow Wing County and one of the largest cities in Central Minnesota. Brainerd straddles the Mississippi River several miles upstream from the confluence with the Crow Wing River, having been founded as a site for a railroad crossing above that confluence. Brainerd is the principal city of the Brainerd Micropolitan Statistical Area, a micropolitan area that covers Cass and Crow Wing counties and had a combined population of 82,249 at the 2000 census. The Brainerd area serves as a major tourist destination for Minnesota, and Baxter is a regional retail center. Brainerd is the home to one of five medivac helicopter flight stations in the state for AirCare, operated by North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, MN, a Level 1 Trauma Center located in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. This station covers the central part of Minnesota. The city is also known for the Brainerd International Raceway.