The Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is without a doubt one of the most famous rivers in the world. Take a look at our super cool facts about this monster of a river!

Mississippi River Facts for Kids

  • The Mississippi River 3,730 km long, which is slightly shorter than the Missouri River.
  • The Great River Road, which runs alongside the river, was created in 1938.
  • The Great River Road runs through about 110 counties and parishes. That’s quite some river we’re talking about!
  • Iowa’s 152m Pike’s Peak was named after a man called Zebulon Pike. He was a great explorer who went and discovered the Upper Mississippi River in 1805.
  • The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, is 192m tall. That’s almost half the height of the massive Empire State Building!
  • From its source, where the river begins, in northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River drops nearly 450m. That is one big drop. Imagine trying to jump off something that’s 450m long?
  • The Mississippi River is home to 360 species of fish, 326 species of birds, 145 species of amphibians, and 50 species of mammals.
  • The Mississippi River is the third largest watershed in the world. But what is a watershed? This is an area of land where all of the water that is under it or drains off of it goes into the same place.
  • The deepest place on the Mississippi River is nearly 61m deep. That is pretty deep if you ask us! It’s deepest at Algiers Point in New Orleans. It would be cool to see the bottom of that and what it looks like.
  • The Mississippi and Missouri Rivers come together to form the longest river system in the USA and North America. It is also the fourth longest in the world. Not a bad title to have!
  • At its widest point, the Mississippi River has a good old stretch out over 11 km in width.
  • The Mississippi River flows through ten states in the USA including Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
  • The Mississippi River is full of history from Native American tribes, the American Civil War, European explorers and the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. Considering how big it is, that must have been some flood.

The first bridge built across the Mississippi River was in 1855.

The first railroad bridge was finished a year later in 1856.

Interesting Facts about the Mississippi River

In the year A.D. 1250, there was an ancient metropolis that was called Cahokia, Illinois. Unbelievably it had more people living there than in London! That’s quite something.

  • This is quite something! Water-skiing was invented on Lake Pepin, which is between Minnesota and Wisconsin.
  • Get ready for this. The Mississippi River is so long that it takes 90 days for one single drop of water to travel the entire length of the Mississippi River.
  • Martin Strel, a Slovenian swimmer is famous for swimming the length of entire rivers. He conquered the mighty Mississippi over 68 days in 2002. That is a lot of swimming and he was obviously super fit!
  • Many of Mark Twain’s famous stories are closely related to the Mississippi River, the most famous being ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’. Have you read this book? You should, it’s pretty cool.
  • Loads of people use the river to get water. Over 50 cities in the US rely on this massive giant of a river for water every day.

Besides that, it is believed that around 15 million people rely on the tributaries of the river basin to stay alive. Tributaries are streams or rivers, which will flow into the river itself. That’s so cool that it helps so many people out.

The Mississippi River sounds like an awesome, large, and interesting river. Do you have any other facts to share with us?