Answered By: Joelle Maurepas Last Updated: Jan 19, 2016 Views: 23749
Traditionally, Lake Itasca in Central Minnesota is considered the source of the Mississippi. For most situations, this is probably the preferred answer to the question "Where does the Mississippi River actually begin?"
However, authorities and agencies like the US Geological Survey do list different lengths and sources for the river depending on different perspectives of the river, that is, as the main channel alone, or as part of a system of rivers and tributaries that are all interconnected.
For more information about this read the USGS list of major rivers and their Lengths or the National Park Service Page identifying Lake Itasca as the Source.