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Designed to stimulate young students this important series provides a unique look at the role great rivers have played and continue to play in the development of a nation. Beginning at the headwaters and meandering through majestic landscapes, the waters of these great rivers continue to flow along paths created millions of years ago. Learn who first settled along their banks, when the first European explorers arrived, the ecological impact from the demands on their waters, the geologic story they embrace and the modern, thriving cities that have sprung up along their shores, Well paced and focused.
Areas covered: headwaters, watershed, geography, geology, native peoples, early explorers, ecology, environment, development.
At 1,450 miles long the Arkansas River is one of the longest rivers in the United States. Its headwaters originate high above the Rocky Mountains near Leadville, CO. From there the river journeys through the states of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas before finally emptying into the mighty Mississippi River.
High in the Rocky Mountains little creeks and streams form into the headwaters of the Colorado River. Along the way, the river passes through 5 states, 2 major deserts, and 110 miles of Mexico before emptying into the Gulf of California. Vital to its surrounding region, the Colorado River is a main water source throughout the river basin including Southern California. Today, more than 29 dams have been built on the Colorado River.
From the Columbia River’s headwaters high above the Canadian Rocky Mountains in British Columbia, to the Snake River’s headwaters among nature’s colorful spectrum in Yellowstone National Park both these rivers travel over 1,000 miles to their final destiny–The Pacific Ocean.
Lurking below the peaks of the White Mountains in Northern New Hampshire, the pristine headwaters of the Connecticut River travel 407 miles south while its river basin drains 11,000 square miles making it New England’s largest river system.
Though just 315 miles in length, the Hudson has witnessed and influenced many events throughout American history. Like a true American legend, this river played a prominent role during the founding and growth of the United States.
Indian River & Intracoastal Waterway
Students of Social Studies learn that the Indian River of Florida is three kinds of waterways all rolled up into one. A River, a Lagoon and a water highway best known as the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway which passes alongside or through 12 states from Massachusetts to the tip of Florida.
Mississippi River- Upper
The Great River, The Big Muddy, Gathering of Waters and Old Man River these are but a few of the names given to the most storied waterway in all of North America. From the north central woods of Minnesota, near Lake Itasca, the headwaters of this grandiose river begin to shape and form before traveling 2,300 miles south to the Gulf of Mexico. The upper river journey ends at the confluence of the Ohio River.
Mississippi River- Lower
The Great River, The Big Muddy, Gathering of Waters and Old Man River these are but a few of the names given to the most storied waterway in all of North America. The Lower River Valley begins its journey near the confluence of the Ohio River, which joins the Mississippi at the southern tip of Illinois and winds its way to the Gulf of Mexico.
From its rather humble beginnings high in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, the Missouri River twists and turns for 2,300 miles as it makes its way east. It is the second longest river in North America and the 500,000 square mile Missouri River Basin, ranks as one of the country’s largest watershed.
From its trickling headwaters uniquely formed at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Ohio River begins a journey vibrant in both geologic and historic significance.
Though just 383 miles in length, the Potomac has witnessed and influenced many events throughout American history. Starting from its sparse headwaters high above the Allegheny Mountains in West Virginia the Potomac’s journey is aligned with numerous geological formations. Its colorful route is peppered with mountains, valleys, towns, country prairies and most notably America’s capital city– the District of Columbia.
The Rio Grande is the 3rd longest river in the United States and the 5th longest in North America. The “Great River” travels 1,900 miles through the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and along the northern border of Mexico before finally emptying into the Gulf of Mexico.
Sacramento & American
From their headwaters high above the Sierra Nevada Mountains these two rivers are forever a part of California’s robust history. As the two rivers travel along California’s picturesque Central Valley terrain, they finally end their journey near the golden gate bridge in the San Francisco Bay before emptying into the Pacific Ocean.