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Missouri Headwaters State Park, Three Forks

(4.1/5 based on 95+ reviews on the web)
Missouri Headwaters State Park is a Montana state park that marks the official start of the Missouri River. It includes the Three Forks of the Missouri National Historic Landmark.It is located near Three Forks, Montana at an elevation of 4045ft.The Missouri starts at the confluence of the Jefferson River and Madison River. It is joined about 0.6 mile down stream (northeast) by the Gallatin River.Lewis and Clark visited the site on July 28, 1805. Meriwether Lewis in his journal entry wrote:Both Capt. C. and myself corresponded in opinon with rispect(sic) to the impropriety of calling either of these streams the Missouri and accordingly agreed to name them after the President of the United States and the Secretaries of the Treasury and State. The Lewis and Clark decision not to call the Jefferson the Missouri has spurred debate over what is the longest river in North America since the Missouri and Mississippi are nearly identical in length. The Missouri traditionally had been called the longest river in North America. However, 72 miles of it have been trimmed off in re-channeling its streambedmainly for the many hydroelectric power plants in the region so that it is now sometimes referred as second to the Mississippi in terms of length. If the Jefferson were included in the Missouri length, it would technically still be considered the longest river by the USGS experts.
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  • Though don't tell that to a Minnesotan! Lots of interpretive information. A strikingly beautiful spot well worthy of visiting. Personally, I would never have missed it!  more »
  • Nice peaceful park where the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin rivers merge to form the Missouri River. Stop and read the exhibit regarding the Lewis & Clark expedition.  more »
  • If you enjoy learning, the old west, frontier history, Lewis and Clark etc, this is a great place to visit. The park itself is a nice place to visit with the 3 rivers that form the Missouri all coming...  more »
  • Awesome park with beautiful views. Lots of history here. Wish there was more parking and trash cans.
  • Great state park. You can see where Lewis and Clark mapped the surrounding area, and the view is very nice.
  • Well marked with historical information and handicap accessible trails.
  • Great place for a quick hike after work
  • Muito interessante o local onde nasce o Grandioso Rio Mississipi a partir de outros trĂªs rios.