The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system in North America, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. From its traditional source of Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota, it flows generally south for 2,340 miles (3,766 km) to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico.
With its many tributaries, the Mississippi’s watershed drains all or parts of 32 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. The main stem is entirely within the United States; the total drainage basin is 1,151,000 sq mi (2,980,000 km2), of which only about one percent is in Canada. The Mississippi ranks as the thirteenth-largest river by discharge in the world.
From the perspective of natural geography and hydrology, the system consists of the Mississippi River itself and its numerous natural tributaries and distributaries. The major tributaries are the Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, and Red Rivers.
Given their flow volumes, major Ohio River tributaries like the Allegheny, Tennessee, and Wabash Rivers are considered important tributaries to the Mississippi system. Before the Mississippi River reaches the Gulf of Mexico, it runs into its distributary, the Atchafalaya River.
According to en.wikipedia.org; the Source of photos: the internet