Facts & Fun


River Facts & Fun

Hundreds of years ago, Native Americans used the Great River Road for trade and travel, with the Hopewell Indian culture becoming the most advanced society in early North America.


The Mississippi River’s depth ranges from less than 3 feet at the headwaters in Minnesota, to the deepest section between Governor Nicholls Wharf and Algiers Point in New Orleans where it is 200 feet deep!


Sixty percent of all North American birds (326 species) use the Mississippi River Basin as their migratory flyway!


The name “Mississippi” comes from the Anishinabe people (Ojibwe Indians). They called the river “Messipi” or “Mee-zee-see-bee,” which means “Big River” or “Father of Waters.”


The Mississippi River is a fishing hot spot! 241 fish species inhabit the Mississippi River and its tributaries!


A raindrop falling into Lake Itasca would arrive at the Gulf of Mexico in about 90 days.


Water skiing was invented in 1922 on the Mississippi River, in a wide part of the river known as Lake Pepin, between Wisconsin and Minnesota.


Explorer Henry Schoolcraft was the first white man to locate and document the true source of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota. The year was 1830.


The historic lumber town of Grand Rapids, along the Great River Road in Minnesota, is also home to actress Judy Garland. Her childhood home is open to the public.


The Mississippi River forms the 3rd largest drainage basin in the world. Its system of 29 locks-and-dams stretches 669 miles between Minneapolis, Minn. and Granite City, Ill., controlling nearly 2/3 of the nation’s watershed.


Crowley’s Ridge in eastern Arkansas is one of the great geologic oddities of the world, and the Delta’s only “highlands.” The only other similar land form is found in Siberia.


The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, Missouri (better know as the Gateway Arch), is the tallest monument in America. At 630 feet, it is more than twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty.


The charming town of Hannibal, Missouri, is home to author Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) and the “unsinkable” Molly Brown. Clemens’ boyhood home is now a museum open to the public.


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