the Mississippi River is famous for its beauty and the amazing sights you can see. Not only is the river beautiful, but it’s also massive! Although there are many things you can do on the Mississippi River, sometimes it’s great to take a walking trail near the massive body of water. Fun fact, the largest cruise ship to ever set sail on the Mississippi River is coming soon!
About the Mississippi River
At its deepest point, the Mississippi River can reach 200 ft deep!
The Mississippi River is a gigantic river in North America. It’s also the second-largest river on the continent. It runs through multiple states including MinnesotaIowa, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, and Illinois. It’s 2,340 miles long and 11 miles wide at the widest point at Lake Winnibigoshish near Bena, MN. There is a lot of history surrounding this river starting from multiple indigenous people who had settlements near the water. It was previously called Misi-ziibi, meaning great river, by the Anishinaabe.
Interesting, but random fact, it takes about 90 days for a single drop of water to travel the entire Mississippi to show you just how long this river is! The Mississippi River begins with Lake Itasca in Northern Minnesota since that’s the river’s main feeding water source. The river is also deepest. The deepest section of the river is near Algiers Point in New Orleans and reaches about 200 feet deep. If you are interested in seeing the river’s beauty, you can hop on a river cruise and enjoy the sights at a slow pace!
Animals in the Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is home to a lot of animals! It has a diverse ecosystem with about 360 species of fish alone. Along the river, you can also spot 326 species of birds and 145 species of amphibians. Not impressed? About 50 species of mammals live in or near the Mississippi River using it as a water source or a form of shelter. The animals though vary depending on where the river is located. For example, you can find coyotes and deer throughout the states that the river runs through. However, some species of fish, like the black buffalo, only live in select areas. For example, you can find black buffalo fish in Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio.
Some of the most common animals in the Mississippi River include:
- Striped Skunk
- False-Mapped Turtle
- American Beavers
- Alligator gar
- Blue Catfish
- Bull Sharks
The Largest Cruise Ship to Ever Sail the Mississippi River
Who says cruise ships are just for the ocean? The largest cruise ship to ever sail the Mississippi River set sail this past June 2022. Viking Mississippi is a large cruise with five decks. The impressive ship measures 450 feet long and 75 feet wide. The cruise ship can accommodate up to 386 guests in 193 staterooms. The staterooms are luxurious and comfortable, including a balcony or veranda, a king-size bed, a bathroom with heated floors, and a mini-bar. It is brand new and was built with cutting-edge technology. Guests can enjoy their slow and smooth river cruise powered by a 148-person crew.
The Viking Mississippi has plenty of amenities for interested guests like the Sun Terrace with an Infinity Plunge Pool. Other than an infinity plunge pool, you can also enjoy some quiet time at the bow, a quiet sitting area at the front of the ship. Guests also have dining options. They can visit the Explorers’ Lounge and Bar. It offers stunning two-story panoramic views of the Mississippi River. At River Cafe, guests can also order American diner and Norwegian favorites. This great river cruise ship offers four itineraries starting from 8 to 15 days. Depending on the itinerary, some guided tours and excursions are included.
Things to do on the Mississippi River
The Mississippi River offers weeks and months of fun. There are hundreds of excursions, events, and places to visit on the Mississippi River. Some of the most common activities include fishing, swimming, boating, and camping near the river. While you can take a quick dip, experts don’t recommend swimming for long periods at the river because of the strong current. It can easily pull you under, even with a life jacket. The Mississippi River is also very polluted. Sadly, for years, factories, facilities, and sewage treatment plants leaked water into the river.
If you want to learn more about the Mississippi River, without spending time inside the water, you can visit one of many museums and exhibitions. Some of the most popular ones include the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Iowa, the Lower Mississippi River Museum in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and the Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site in Kentucky. There are also plenty of dams and falls across the states where the river runs through you can enjoy. A favorite for many visitors is Freedom Park in Minnesota a scenic overlook.
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