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The Mississippi River is the chief river of the largest drainage system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States (though its drainage basin reaches into Canada), it rises in northern Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for 2,530 miles (4,070 km) to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 31 US states and 2 Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains. The Mississippi ranks as the fourth longest and tenth largest river in the world. The river either borders or cuts through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
There may be records about the migration in these states:
Eastern Rivers that enter the Mississippi River
The Ohio, Tennessee and Wabash join and then enter the Mississippi's flow. There are trails and now roads that run on both sides of the Mississippi river and these rivers.
- Ohio River
- Connecticut River
- Tennessee River
- Wabash River
- Illinois River
- Red River of the North
Western Rivers that enter the Mississippi River
Farther west (of the Mississippi River) migrants had to follow trails near rivers in order to water their livestock. For example, the Oregon trail followed the Missouri, North Platte, Sweetwater, Snake and Columbia rivers. The Sweetwater flows into the North Platte which flows into the Missouri which then flows into the Mississippi.
- Missouri River
- North Platte River
- Sweetwater River
- Arkansas River
- Red River