The Mississippi River is famous for its beauty and the amazing sights you can see. The river is not only beautiful, but also huge! Although there are many things to do on the Mississippi, sometimes it’s great to take a hiking trail near the vast body of water. Fun fact, the largest cruise ship to ever set sail on the Mississippi is coming soon!
Across the Mississippi
The Mississippi is a huge river in North America. It is also the second longest river on the continent. It runs through several states including Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois. It is 2,340 miles long and 11 miles wide at its widest point on Lake Winnibigoshish near Bena, MN. There is a lot of history surrounding this river, starting with several indigenous people who had settlements near the water. It was formerly called Misi-ziibi by the Anishinaabe, meaning great river.
Interesting but coincidental fact, it takes about 90 days for a single drop of water to cross the entire Mississippi, to show you how long this river is! The Mississippi begins at Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota, as it is the river’s main source of water. The river is also the deepest. The deepest section of the river is near Algiers Point in New Orleans, reaching a depth of about 200 feet. If you are interested in seeing the beauty of the river, you can join a river cruise and take in the sights at a slow pace!
Animals in the Mississippi River
The Mississippi is home to many animals! It has a diverse ecosystem with around 360 species of fish alone. You can also spot 326 species of birds and 145 species of amphibians along the river. Not impressed? About 50 species of mammals live in or near the Mississippi River, using it as a water source or for shelter. However, the animals vary depending on where the river is located. For example, coyotes and deer can be found throughout the states through which the river flows. However, some species of fish, such as the black buffalo, live only in select areas. For example, black buffalo fish can be found in Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio.
Some of the most common animals in the Mississippi include:
- Striped skunk
- Mismatched turtle
- American beaver
- Alligator gar
- Blue catfish
- bull sharks
The largest cruise ship to ever sail the Mississippi
Who says cruise ships are only for the ocean? The largest cruise ship to ever sail the Mississippi River set sail last June 2022. Viking Mississippi is a large cruise with five decks. The impressive ship is 450 feet long and 75 feet wide. The cruise ship can accommodate up to 386 guests in 193 cabins. The cabins are luxurious and comfortable, with a balcony or veranda, a king-size bed, a bathroom with underfloor heating and a minibar. It is brand new and built with the latest technology. Guests can enjoy her slow and smooth river cruise powered by a crew of 148.
The Viking Mississippi offers many amenities for interested guests such as the sundeck with an infinity plunge pool. In addition to an infinity plunge pool, you can also enjoy quiet time in the Bow, a tranquil seating area at the front of the ship. Guests also have dining options. You can visit the Explorers’ Lounge and Bar. It offers a breathtaking two-story panoramic view of the Mississippi River. In the River Cafe you can also order American diner and Norwegian specialities. This magnificent river cruise ship offers four itineraries ranging from 8 to 15 days. Depending on the itinerary, some guided tours and excursions are included.
Activities on the Mississippi River
The Mississippi River offers weeks and months of fun. There are hundreds of excursions, events and attractions on the Mississippi. Some of the most common activities are fishing, swimming, boating, and camping near the river. While you can take a quick dip, experts don’t recommend long swims in the river due to the strong current. It can also easily put you under with a life jacket. The Mississippi is also heavily polluted. Unfortunately, factories, facilities, and sewage treatment plants dumped water into the river for years.
If you want to learn more about the Mississippi without spending time in the water, you can visit one of the many museums and exhibits. Some of the most popular are 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 many dams and waterfalls across the states that the river flows through that you can enjoy. A favorite for many visitors is Freedom Park in Minnesota, a scenic overlook.
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