The Mississippi River flows south from Northern Minnesota at Lake Itasca to Louisiana into the Gulf of Mexico. Explorer Hernando de Soto is responsible for the discovery of this river in 1541.
There is a debate about the true length of this river and different organizations give different lengths. The range is from 2,300 miles long to 2,552 miles long. It is North America's third-longest river. The width varies on the part of the lake someone is measuring with the widest part being more than 11 miles wide near Bena, Minn., at Lake Winnibigoshish. The average speed that the water flows at is about 1.2 miles per hour.