Mississippi River Facts

River Views™, a River Cruise Blog

mississippi river facts
The Mississippi River is full of intriguing history and fascinating scenery from end-to-end. Touching ten states from its beginning in Minnesota to its end in Louisiana, it touches a wide variety of cultures and heritages, but also has many impressive characteristics that are as unique as the communities through which it flows.

  • The word Mississippi comes from Messipi, the French rendering of the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe or Algonquin) name for the river, Misi-ziibi (Great River).
  • The Mississippi River water source is fed by Lake Itasca in Northern Minnesota and flows all the way down into the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The Mississippi River is best divided into three sections: the Upper Mississippi, from its headwaters at Lake Itasca to the confluence with the Missouri River; the Middle Mississippi, downriver from the Missouri to the Ohio River; and the Lower Mississippi, flowing from the Ohio River to the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The Mississippi River either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
  • The Mississippi River is the third longest river in North America and flows 2,340 miles from beginning to end.
  • It takes 90 days for a single drop of water to travel the Mississippi River’s entire length.
  • From its source, Lake Itasca, to its end, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River drops 1,475 feet.
  • The deepest point on the Mississippi River is located near Algiers Point in New Orleans and is 200 feet in depth.
  • The Mississippi River is home to 360 species of fish, 326 species of birds, 145 species of amphibians and 50 species of mammals.

If you’re interested in experiencing the wonder of a Mississippi River cruise, join us for a voyage on the American Queen.