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Facts About the Mississippi River For Kids


The Mississippi River is one of the most well known rivers in the world. It ranks up there with the The River Nile, The Amazon River, and The Chang Jiang River. It was formed and shaped by the Cordilleran Ice Sheet during the most recent Ice Age. As the ice began to recede, hundreds of feet of rich sediment were deposited along the rivers edge, creating the flat and fertile landscape of the Mississippi Valley. The Mississippi River has changed over the years and has taken a different shape than the original path that was carved out by the glaciers. This change is due to the many dams that have been built along the river.

Questions and Answers about the Mississippi River

Where does the Mississippi River start and end?
The Mississippi River starts at Lake Itasca, Minnesota and ends 95 miles below New Orleans, Louisiana where its water flows into the Gulf of Mexico.

How long is the Mississippi River?
It begins as a tiny brook and 2,350 miles later empties into the Gulf of Mexico.

What states does the Mississippi River run through?
The Mississippi River flows through 10 states, they include MinnesotaWisconsinIowaIllinoisMissouriKentuckyTennesseeArkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana.

Who discovered the Mississippi River?
De Soto, discovered the Mississippi River. He discovered the Mississippi River in 1541 and crossed it in order to explore Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

What is the source of the Mississippi River?
The source of the Mississippi is Itasca State Park, Clearwater County, MN

How many bridges cross the Mississippi River?
There are many bridges that cross the Mississippi River, some of the more notable bridges include; The Stone Arch Bridge, the Third Avenue Bridge and the Hennepin Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis, The Dubuque-Wisconsin Bridge connecting Dubuque, Iowa and Grant County, Wisconsin, Norbert F. Beckey bridge at Muscatine, The Hernando de Soto Bridge in Memphis, Tennessee and The Chain of Rocks Bridge at St.Louis, Missouri.

How wide is the Mississippi River?
The first two areas are lakes or reservoirs rather than free flowing water but are the widest point of the Mississippi River, they include; Lake Winnibigoshish, near Grand Rapids, Minnesota, which is over 7 miles across, Lake Onalaska, near La Crosse, Wisconsin, where the river which is over 4 miles across, and Lake Pepin that is more than 2 miles wide. In other areas where the Mississippi is a flowing river, it exceeds 1 mile in width.

How Many dams are there on the Mississippi River?
From its origin at Lake Itasca to St. Louis, Missouri, the flow of the Mississippi River is modified by 43 dams that shape the flow of water down to the Gulf of Mexico.

How many states are west of the Mississippi River?
There are 24 States that are west of the Mississippi River. These states include; Minnesota (starts/cuts through this state), Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana (cuts through this state), Texas, OklahomaKansas, NebraskaSouth Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, WyomingColoradoNew MexicoArizonaUtahIdahoCalifornia, NevadaOregon, Washington, AlaskaHawaii

How many states are east of the Mississippi River?
There are a total of 28 states east of the Mississippi River. These states include; Mississippi, AlabamaGeorgiaFlorida, South CarolinaNorth Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana (cuts through this state), West Virginia, VirginiaDelaware, MarylandNew YorkNew JerseyPennsylvania, Minnesota (starts/cuts through this state), Wisconsin, MichiganIllinois, IndianaOhioConnecticutRhode IslandMassachusettsVermontNew HampshireMaine