Mississippi River

The source of the Mississippi River on the edge of Lake Itasca in Itasca State Park, Minnesota. Picture taken on May 25th 2004 by Christine Karim.

The Mississippi River is the second longest river in America, only 24 miles shorter than the Missouri River. First described by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, and later explored by French missionaries Marquette and Joliet, and later by Robert Sieur de la Salle, the Mississippi River has played prominently in American history and has long been a driving force of its economy. Many major cities were built on its banks including Minneapolis, Minnesota; St. Louis, Missouri, Memphis, Tennessee; and New Orleans, Louisiana.



2,320 Miles


Lake Itasca, Minnesota


Gulf of Mexico