The 10 Longest Rivers in Louisiana

The Mississippi River in Louisiana.
The Mississippi River in Louisiana.

Louisiana joined the United States in 1812 after the US purchased the territory of Louisiana from the French. Much of the land bought during the purchase is not included in the present day territory. The state has county equivalents referred to as parishes with Plaquemines occupying the biggest area. The state is one of the most culturally diverse in the country due to the area's history as a colony of both Spain and France. There are a large number of rivers in the state with the longest being the Mississippi with an approximate length of 2,320 miles.

The Top 3 Longest Rivers In Louisiana

The Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is the second longest river in the US and flows through 10 states. The river flows into the Mississippi River Delta after covering a distance of 2,320 miles. Hernando De Soto was the first European in recorded history to spot the river. The river has played an essential part in American history as it marked the boundary between Spanish French and American territories. Native American tribes also set up their villages along the river's banks as it provided them with a constant supply of clean water. During the American Civil War, both the North and South struggled fiercely to obtain control of the river. The North captured the river which helped them decisively win the war. In spite of its length and the vast amount of water flowing through the stream, its potential as a source of hydroelectric power is yet to be realized as there are no hydroelectric projects along its length.

The Red River

A former tributary of the Mississippi River the red river flows for about 1,360 miles before joining the Atchafalaya River. The name was chosen due to the red rocks in the river's catchment area. The river flows through four states and is a natural boundary separating Arkansas and Texas. For a long time Native American tribes have lived along the river, and evidence has been found indicating that the communities had adapted to a myriad of conditions. In 2015 the river flooded areas in 4 states with some of the tallest waves reaching more than 35 feet. The river has a dam across it, the Denison dam, which was completed in 1943.

Ouachita River

The Ouachita River is the third longest river in Louisiana and flows for a total length of 605 miles. The river's course runs through two states of Arkansas and Louisiana, and it drains its waters into the Tensas River. The river was named after a Native American tribe whose ancestors have lived along its banks for millennia. The fertile land around the river has attracted speculators wishing to invest in it one of whom was the grandson of the third president of the US, Thomas Jefferson. The banks of the river were the site of several battles during the American Civil War.

The Significance Of Rivers

Rivers have been necessary to humanity since the prehistoric era as they provide water not only for drinking but also for domestic and agricultural activities. Rivers offer fishing grounds where both people and animals obtain fish vital to their diet. The water in rivers is used to provide hydroelectric power; a source of clean energy whose production does not pollute the environment. Governments all over the world have set up measures to protect rivers from the ravages of contamination.

The 10 Longest Rivers in Louisiana

Rank´╗┐RiverLength (miles)Length (km)
1Mississippi River 2,3203,730
2Red River 1,3602,190
3Ouachita River548882
4Sabine River510820
5Pearl River 444715
6Bayou Bartholomew364586
7Bayou Macon218351
8Boeuf River216348
9Calcasieu River200320
10Tensas River 177285

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