Is The Mississippi River In Tennessee

The Mississippi River is a major river located in the United States and is known as the lifeblood of the American Midwest. It flows 2,020 miles from Lake Itasca in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. With its originating points in the Northern United States and its ending point in the Southern United States, it’s no wonder that the Mississippi River has many states along its path. The state of Tennessee, specifically, is one of those states.

The Mississippi River begins at Lake Itasca and flows through 10 states before reaching its ending point in the Gulf of Mexico. It passes through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana before ending in the Gulf. Although the Mississippi River does pass through Tennessee, the actual state borders of Tennessee do not quite meet the Mississippi River. The portion of the river that runs through Tennessee is actually the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway which was created in the 1980s.

The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway is quite an impressive feat. It is a 234 mile long artificial river created to provide a link between the Tennessee River and the Tombigbee River for commercial shipping. Although the portion of the Waterway that runs through Tennessee does not meet the actual Mississippi River, without it, the resources from the Tombigbee River would not be available to Tennessee. This Waterway has created more commercial opportunity for the state of Tennessee and without it, Tennessee would not have the freedom to ship goods north and south along the river.

The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway is seen as a sort of substitute for the Mississippi. The goal of the Waterway is to give the state of Tennessee access to resources, recreational opportunities, and important trade advantages that the Mississippi River provides to other states along its route. The Waterway itself features various recreational opportunities such as camping, boating, and fishing.

Tennessee is also home to the Hatchie River which has been dubbed “Tennessee’s main tributary of the Upper Mississippi”. The Hatchie has a 175 mile long course that runs through various counties in the state. It is a major conduit for shipping goods along the Mississippi and is home to a variety of wildlife, fish, and other organisms. The Hatchie River is also a popular destination for recreational fishing.

It has been said that the Hatchie River has a connection to the soul of the state of Tennessee and is a part of the natural landscape of the region. The river has been a source of inspiration for many local artists, musicians, and even writers. Tennessee’s countryside is often breathtaking and much of this can be attributed to the Hatchie River.

To conclude, it is true that the Mississippi River does not technically pass through Tennessee. However, the state still has access to some of the river’s services and benefits through its tributaries and the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Despite not being able to access the main branch of the Mississippi River, Tennessee still has access to valuable resources, recreational opportunities, and a source of inspiration through its locally formed rivers.

Economic Impact of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway

The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway has had a huge impact on the economy of Tennessee. The Waterway has enabled commercial shipping of goods both north and south on the Mississippi River. As a result, companies and businesses have been able to make much more money due to the increased access to resources and new customers. According to the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Council, the Waterway has added more than $1 billion to the economy in Tennessee since it was first constructed in 1984.

The construction of the Waterway also created thousands of jobs for the people of Tennessee. During the construction of the Waterway, there were over 6,500 people employed and since it’s opening, there have been over 8,500 people employed due to it. The Waterway was created to help the economy of the state of Tennessee and it has certainly achieved that goal.

The Waterway has also created more transportation options for the people of Tennessee. The Waterway was constructed partly as a navigation route for commercial ships, but recreational boats are free to use the river as well. Many people enjoy taking their boats out on the Waterway and it’s easy to find boat launches and marinas along the river.

Overall, the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway has had a positive economic impact on the state of Tennessee. It has provided access to the resources of the Mississippi River, created thousands of jobs, and given the people of Tennessee more ways to travel. Although the Mississippi River does not pass through Tennessee, the state still benefits from its tributaries, including the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.

Environmental Impact of the Hatchie River

The Hatchie River has had a huge impact on the environment of Tennessee. The river has been an important source of water for the state since its formation. Its 175-mile course provides numerous entrances for the introduction of clean water into the surrounding environment. As a result, the Hatchie’s water has helped the surrounding habitats thrive.

The Hatchie River is home to many species of fish and other aquatic life. The annual fish migration in the river keeps the population healthy and provides a great source of food for the local wildlife. The Hatchie also provides a safe habitat for numerous species of birds and mammals. The variety of habitats along the river provides an ideal place for animals to live and breed.

Furthermore, the Hatchie River provides an important recreational resource for the people of Tennessee. Its accessible shorelines provide ideal spots for fishing, camping, and kayaking, and it also offers a pleasant escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The Hatchie is also a great spot for bird watching and educational tours, which can be found at numerous locations along the river.

Overall, the Hatchie River is an important part of the environment in Tennessee. Its clean water, diverse wildlife, and recreational opportunities make it an invaluable resource for both the people and the animals of the state. The Hatchie provides a glimpse of what the Mississippi River may have been like before it was heavily industrialized.

Historical Significance of the Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is steeped in history and has been a major part of the United States for centuries. During the 19th century, it was an important part of the development of the Midwest and was integral in the growth and success of numerous cities on its shores. The river provided a livelihood for early settlers and has since been used for transportation, as well as for commercial and recreational purposes.

The Mississippi also figured prominently during the American Civil War. The Union fleet operated from the Mississippi and used it’s many tributaries to help with supply lines and troop movements. Some of the fiercest battles were fought on the river, most notably the Battle of Vicksburg, which was a crucial victory for the Union forces.

Today, the Mississippi River is a source of pride and joy for the states it passes through. It is a beautiful and powerful symbol of America’s past and its influence can still be felt in modern times. The river is a vital source of fresh water and serves as an important transportation route. Despite not passing through Tennessee, the Mississippi is still an important part of life in the state.

Misconceptions about the Mississippi

Despite the Mississippi River’s historical significance in the United States, many misconceptions abound about the river—one of the most common being that it passes through the state of Tennessee. As has been stated before, the actual Mississippi River does not pass through Tennessee, though many of its tributaries do.

Another common misconception about the river is the depth of the water. Many people think that the entire river is deep and turbulent, when in fact many portions of the river are slow moving and are relatively shallow. This can be confusing for people who are unfamiliar with the Mississippi River and its many tributaries.

Furthermore, people often think that the Mississippi is a dangerous river to navigate, but this is not entirely accurate. While sections of the river do have dangerous rapids and other extreme conditions, most of the river is actually very calm and there are many spots where people can safely boat or fish. It is important to be aware of the conditions of the river before attempting to navigate it.

Overall, the Mississippi River is an important part of the United States and is deeply embedded in our history. It’s not necessary to traverse through Tennessee to be able to appreciate the river and its many tributaries. By understanding the truth about the Mississippi and its many misconceptions, we can better appreciate and enjoy the river in all of its grandeur.

Fascinating Wildlife Along the Mississippi

The Mississippi River is home to a wide variety of wildlife, making it one of the most fascinating ecosystems in the world. Numerous species of fish, birds, mammals, and reptiles call the river home, and many of these animals can be seen along the river’s banks.

Popular river fish such as bass, carp, catfish, and sunfish can be found in the Mississippi, providing plenty of opportunities for recreational fishing. The river also provides habitat for many species of waterfowl such as ducks, geese, and swans, as well as numerous species of birds of prey like bald eagles, ospreys, and hawks.

Mammals like river otters, beavers, raccoons, and muskrats also inhabit the river. The threatened pallid sturgeon can also be found in the waters of the Mississippi and is a popular target of conservation efforts. Reptiles such as snakes and turtles can also be found along the river banks, as well as numerous amphibian species such as frogs and salamanders.

Overall, the Mississippi River is a rich, diverse ecosystem that provides habitat for many species of wildlife. Although the river does not pass through Tennessee, the state still houses many of the river’s fascinating creatures. By understanding and appreciating the river’s wildlife, we can better appreciate the importance of preserving and protecting this vital ecosystem.


In conclusion, the Mississippi River does not physically pass through the state of Tennessee. However, the state still benefits from its services and benefits through its tributaries and the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. The Hatchie River and the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway have had huge impacts on the state’s environment and economy, making them an invaluable resource to the people and wildlife of the state. The Mississippi River also has historical significance and is home to a wide variety of fascinating creatures. By understanding and appreciating the river, its tributaries, and its wildlife, we can better understand and appreciate the importance of preserving and protecting the Mississippi River and its ecosystems.

Raymond Strasser is a passion-driven writer and researcher, dedicated to educating readers on the topic of world rivers. With a background in Geography and Environmental Studies, Raymond provides insightful pieces which explore the impact and importance that rivers have around the world.

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