The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

Appendix

Rivergator Appendix II

Upper Mississippi River Water Trails

 

The Mississippi River Water Trail is overseen by the Mississippi River Water Trail Association which is a partnership between the USACE, USFW, National Audubon Society, Illinois Department of Conservation, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Department of Conservation, Palisades Sierra Club, Great Rivers Land Trust, Meeting of the Rivers Foundation, 1 Mississippi Campaign, American Canoe Association, and many others.

 

The Mississippi River Water Trail passes through the heart of North America and is deeply rooted in natural scenic beauty, Native American heritage and cultural history. Known as the Father of Waters, the Mississippi River gives visitors the chance to enjoy paddling through one of the most scenic stretches of the river in North America that is not only lined with majestic bluffs and full of wildlife viewing opportunities, but also provides plenty of places to stop and relax whether it be a remote island or exciting river city.

There are hard copy maps available at the National Great Rivers Museum in Alton, IL.  You can find the link for navigation charts on the resources tab. We strongly encourage users to take along a Mississippi River Navigation Chart. Be Smart, always wear a lifejacket when on the water. Learn, camp, paddle, explore, bird watch, and fish the Mississippi River Water Trail on your next adventure!!

The (Upper) Mississippi River Water Trail is broken up into 3 sections: Pike's Passage (Pool 24), Pinnacle Pass (Pool 25), and Bluffs Trail (Pool 26/27).

Hard Copy Maps are available of Pools 24, 25, and 26/27 at the Rivers Project Office or National Great Rivers Museum in Alton, IL.  To request by phone please call 636.899.2600 or 618.462.6979.

 

Illinois River Navigation Charts

Downloadable Maps

The navigation charts are sold through cooperative agreements between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Eastern National and the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau. The updated Illinois Waterway charts cost $12.98 plus tax and shipping (if applicable). Charts may be purchased in person or over the phone from the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, located at 950 North 27th Road, Ottawa, Ill., phone (815) 667-4054; and from the Mississippi River Visitor Center, Arsenal Island, Rock Island, Ill., phone (309) 794-5338. Telephone orders must be paid by credit card (VISA, Master Card or American Express). Discounted pricing is applied to orders of ten or more. For more information contact the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center at (815) 667-4054 or visit www.mvr.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation/NavigationCharts.aspx.

Upper Mississippi River Navigation Charts

Downloadable Maps

The Upper Mississippi River Navigation Charts cover the Upper Mississippi River from the head of navigation at river mile 866 in Minneapolis, Minn., to the confluence with the Ohio River at Cairo, Ill. The navigable portions of the Minnesota and St. Croix Rivers are also included. The charts were last updated in 2011. They are available to purchase in hard copy format from the Mississippi River (at Lock & Dam 15) and Illinois Waterway (at Starved Rock Lock & Dam) Visitor Centers.

2014 Public Service Announcement via Youtube

 

 Pool 24 Maps

 Saverton to Ashburn

 Ashburn to Louisiana

 Louisiana to Clarksville

 Gosline to Crider Island

 Pharrs Island to Lock 24

 Ted Shanks

 Beginner Trips

 Intermediate Trips

 Advanced Trips

 

Pike's Passage (Pool 24):

Pike's Passage was chosen as the name of this section of the water trail, since the Mississippi River is bordered on both sides by Pike County, Illinois and Missouri.  Zebulon Pike for which the two counties are named, was a soldier and explorer.  He was the leader of the Pike expedition in 1806 to map out the south and west portions of the Louisiana Purchase. 

Pike's Passage (Pool 24) is 27.8 miles long. 

The cities of Louisiana and Clarksville sit along the Mississippi River and provide paddlers the best opportunities to access convenience stores, restaurants, lodging, and equipment repairs.

There are some structures, such as wing dikes and chevrons, around shorelines or islands, which direct the main flow of water into the channel and/or improve aquatic habitat.

Built in 1873, the Louisiana Railroad Swingspan Bridge is 2,150 feet long.

Lock and dam 24 provides an average lift of 15 feet.  The Dam is 1,340 feet long with 15 tainter gates and one lock chamber. 

 

Pinnacle Pass (Pool 25):

Pinnacle Pass (Pool 25) is 27.8 miles long.

The highest point on the Mississippi River is located in Clarksville, Missouri, and is known as "The Pinnacle".  It sits more than 900' above sea level and has a panoramic view of Pools 24 and 25.

In early settlement times salt was produced at salt springs north of Clarksville and transported downstream by canoe to be sold in St. Louis.

The City of Clarksville sits along the Mississippi River and provides paddlers the best opportunity to access convenience stores, restaurants, lodging, and equipment repair.

Locks and Dam 25 provides an average lift of 15 feet.

The Dam is 1,296 feet long with 13 tainter gates, 3 roller gates and one lock chamber.  The first day of operation was May 18, 1939.

There are some structures, such as wing dikes and chevrons, around shorelines or islands, which direct the main flow of water into the channel and/or improve aquatic habitat.

Mississippi River Flyway hosts approximately 40% of the nation's migratory birds through the spring and fall migrations.

 

Suggested Trips for Pool 25

 Directions to Pool 25

 Beginner Trips

 Intermediate Trips

 Advanced Trips

 

Bluffs Trail (Pool 26/27)

Bluffs trail is named after the majestic bluffs that line the river from Alton past Grafton and into Pere Marquette State Park. 

The City of Alton is full of historical markers and museums, a full service marina, restaurants, and hotels.  Booklets and information about all these sites can be found at the Alton Visitor Center. 

The Chain of Rocks is a hazard in Pool 27 and should be avoided. 

The Chain of Rocks canal is accessible by canal/kayak.

 

 Water Trail Maps

 Pool 26 Upper

 Pool 26 Middle

  Pool 26 Lower

 

 River Charts

 Upper Mississippi River Chart

 Lower Mississippi River Chart

 

 

 Pool 26 Driving Maps

Alton Lake Access to Maple Island 

Cuirve Island to Oriole Island

 Grafton to Hideaway Harbor

 Iowa Island to Grafton

Oriole Island to Iowa Island 

 Piasa Harbor to Alton Lake Access

Winfield to Cuirve Island 

 

The Mississippi River Water Trail Association was established through the American Canoe Association to support and enhance the Mississippi River Water Trail and encourage community involvement.  

The Association showcases the Mississippi River as a paddling destination rich with cultural heritage, wildlife, natural areas, and history.  The Association will promote and encourage safe paddling opportunities on the Mississippi River.  Volunteers will provide support by maintaining trail rest areas, primitive campsites, and facilities to ensure quality recreational opportunities for paddlers.  

The Association will promote safety awareness and provide activities, events, and educational opportunities.  The water trail association will also facilitate collaboration with communities, organizations, and agencies to foster sound safety and conservation practices along the river.