The Red River flows through several urban areas along its path including Fargo-Moorhead and Greater Grand Forks in the United States and Winnipeg in Canada. The Red is about 885 kilometres (550 miles) long, of which about 635 kilometres (395 miles) are in the United States and about 255 kilometres (155 miles) are in Canada. The river falls 70 m (229.7 ft) on its trip to Lake Winnipeg where it spreads into the vast deltaic wetland known as Netley Marsh.
In the United States, the Red River is sometimes called the Red River of the North, to distinguish it from the Red River that is a tributary of the Mississippi River, and that forms part of the border between Texas and Oklahoma.
Long a highway for trade, the Red has been designated as a Canadian Heritage River.