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Montana contains the headwaters of the Missouri River, the longest waterway (through its connection with the Mississippi) in the United States. The river played a major role in the exploration and development of the state. The damming of the river created the Fort Peck Reservoir, a body of water covering 250,000 acres.

The headwaters are marked by Missouri Headwaters State Park, where the Jefferson River, the Madison River and the Gallatin River come together near the town of Three Forks.

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