Next time you drive the Great River Road, bring your canoe or kayak! The Mississippi River offers endless canoeing and kayaking opportunities and the Great River Road is a way to access this paddling resource.
Boat launches and access points allow paddlers access nearly every major stretch of the river. While paddling isn’t advisable on all sections of the river, every state along the Great River Road offers some Mississippi River paddling opportunities. The Army Corps of Engineers is the resource for information about navigability of the river.
For paddlers, the Mississippi River offers three distinct sections. In the river’s uppermost reaches, the river is narrow and winding, offering a challenge to canoeists and kayakers.
Below Minneapolis/St. Paul, the river becomes a series of pools formed by 33 locks & dams stretching southward through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. Paddlers can access these pools from hundreds of boat launches and parks.
Below the last lock and dam in Granite City, Illinois, the Mississippi River flows dam-free to the Gulf of Mexico. The river is wide at this point and backwaters, sloughs and side channels are plentiful. Paddlers will find a lifetime of canoeing and kayaking along the Mississippi River in Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Plan your Great River Road paddling adventure today.