The Mississippi River
is a tributary of the Ottawa River
The Ottawa River is a river in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. For most of its length, it now defines the border between these two provinces.-Geography:...
in eastern Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...
. It is 200 kilometres (124.3 mi) in length from its source in Upper Mazinaw Lake, has a drainage area of 4450 square kilometres (1,718.2 sq mi), and has a mean discharge of 40 m3/s. There are more than 250 lakes in the watershed.
From its headwaters at Mazinaw Lake to its confluence at the Ottawa River near Fitzroy Harbour the river drops 323 metres in elevation.
Following a generally southerly course through Mazinaw Lake, the Mississippi River turns eastward and runs a direct east west course to its junction with the Fall River near the Village of Lanark. From this point, it flows north through the towns of Carleton Place, Almonte, Pakenham and Galetta until it enters the Ottawa River.
The river feeds numerous lakes popular for cottagers and tourists and passes through many rural communities. The landscape changes from the lush forest of the Canadian Shield to rolling farmland.
The irregular terrain of the watershed was formed by glaciation, erosion, and the intense forces of volcanic activity.
In the west end of the watershed steep granite and shale formations with shallow soil cover is abundant. In the central region, the landscape changes to rolling hills then to flat fields in the City of Ottawa region. Numerous deposits of leda clay can be found in the eastern portion of the watershed.
Approximately 60% of the watershed is forested; its tree species correspond to the soil type of the area. Many different types of natural habitats, such as dense forests, rocky highlands, agricultural areas and wetlands, meet and overlap to create a home for a very diverse collection of plants, animals and birds in the watershed.
Tributaries include the:
- Clyde River
The Clyde River is a river in eastern Ontario, a tributary of the Mississippi River which is itself a tributary of the Ottawa River.The Clyde flows south from its source in Clyde Lake in North Frontenac Township through the village of Lanark and enters the Mississippi River north of Perth. It was...
- Indian River
- Fall River
The Fall River is a river in Frontenac and Lanark counties, Ontario, Canada, which flows from Sharbot Lake and through Bennett Lake to join the Mississippi River. The river is named after settlers of the late 17th century.-Hydrology:...
- Bell's Creek
The river originally powered textile mills. Today, it provides hydroelectric
Hydroelectricity is the term referring to electricity generated by hydropower; the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. It is the most widely used form of renewable energy...
The Purdon Conservation Area, a wetland in this river's watershed, contains Canada's largest native colony of showy lady slipper orchids, some 16,000 plants.
The origin of the river's name is something of a mystery; although its current spelling may be derived from that of its much larger American cousin
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...
, it is most certainly a corruption of a different native name, as the translation 'great water' would not apply to a relatively minor tributary of the Ottawa, definitely the largest river in the area. Instead, the name may originate from "Mazinaa[bikinigan]-ziibi
", Algonquian for '[painted] image river', referring to the pictographs found on Mazinaw Lake
Mazinaw Lake is a lake in the Addington Highlands north of Kaladar in Eastern Ontario. The lake is situated on the upper Mississippi River. It has a perimeter of and averages in depth with a maximum depth of , making it the second deepest lake in Southern Ontario besides the Great Lakes. There...
, though this is by no means proven.