Fun Facts About The Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is legendary for a reason. It is the topic of endless tales told by Mark Twain and other famous American authors. Many real stories about the Civil War era, as well as the history of the music that began here, are known to many. However, the river itself has some interesting tidbits that you may not know. Read on to learn 11 fun facts about the Mississippi River.

The Mississippi River..

1. Is the Second-Longest River in the U.S. Beginning in Lake Itasca MN, the Mississippi River runs 2,341 miles to the Gulf of Mexico.

2. Flows through 10 U.S. States, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

3. Is the Third-Largest River Basin in the World, collecting water from 31 states with a watershed that covers over 40% of the continental U.S.

4. At its widest is 11 miles across and at its narrowest is 20 to 30 feet across.

5. At its deepest is 200 ft and at its shallowest point is 3 feet deep.

6. Provides drinking water for millions and supports a $12.6 billion shipping industry, with 35,300 related jobs.

7. Produces the majority of the nation’s farm-raised catfish.

8. It takes 90 days for a drop of water to travel the entire length of the Mississippi River.

9. Was the place where waterskiing was invented. In 1922, Ralph Samuelson was first to water-ski on Lake Pepin, a naturally occurring lake on the river.

10. Only two people have swam the length of the entire river.

11. You can drive alongside most of the river on the scenic roadway known as the great river road which was built alongside the Mississippi River in 1938.

Want to learn more about the Mississippi River? You can see it first hand aboard a Mississippi River Cruise with American Cruise Lines.