Friday, June 7, 2024

How Long To Boat Down The Mississippi River

World War Ii Lst Construction

How to go through a lock on the Mississippi River small boat

The Second World War put huge demands on shipping. Every floating vessel, retired or old, was put to work and the Gulf Coast was turned into a large industrial works region, including shipbuilding, steelmaking, forestry, and landing craft construction. Prairie boats were moved down the river for re-staging in New Orleans, with the Higgins boat having a significant impact on shipping.

Modern Engineering & A Trip Back In Time

At the revitalized Port of Dubuque, we docked in the protected Ice Harbor inside the floodgate, where courtesy docks make stopping off easy. Near the National Mississippi River Museum is an extensive riverfront plaza, and the Diamond Jo Casino and gaming complex. Back on the water, just three miles from the start, we had our first lock-through, at Lock and Dam 11, along with one man on a jet ski. He wasn’t the least bit surprised when we told him we were headed to Minneapolis. “I took the trip last year with my sons in an aluminum fishing boat,” he told us, “and we camped along the way.”

The Upper Mississippi lock and dam system is called the “Stairway of Water.” Elevation above sea level is shown at left. The river travels at 1.2 to 3 mph, and is approximately 2,350 miles long.

The idea of locking through was initially daunting, but we breezed through it, grabbing lines from a friendly lockmaster to steady our boat against the concrete wall. When Twain saw the river, it was untamed even, he speculated, untamable by the United States River Commission . In the 1930s, though, the Corps of Engineers began the 9-Foot Project to revive and improve the navigation on the Upper River, creating 29 locks and dams, from Minneapolis to St. Louis, by 1964. Today, more than 90 million tons of cargo move by barge on the upper Mississippi River annually. Recreational boats and commercial vessels share the locks on a first-come, first-served basis.

Can You Travel The Whole Length Of The Mississippi River

Yes, you absolutely can travel the whole length of the Mississippi river but it will require a kayak or rowboat for the top 482 miles. After those top 482 miles you can use pretty much any motor boat to travel the rest of the way down the river. As you get closer to the Gulf it can become a much less enjoyable ride so many people choose to take the Tennessee-Tombigdee.

You can stay on the Mississippi the entire way but there arent many places to stop for fuel on the lower section and you will have a lot of barge and tugboat traffic to deal with as well.

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Mississippi River Fun Facts

The Mississippi River is full of intriguing history and fascinating scenery from end-to-end. Touching ten states from its beginning in Minnesota to its end in Louisiana, it touches a wide variety of cultures and heritages, but also has many impressive characteristics that are as unique as the communities through which it flows.

If youâre interested in experiencing the wonder of a Mississippi River cruise, join us for a voyage on the American Queen.

Interested in learning more about the Mississippi River? Here are some more facts:

What is the depth of the Mississippi River? How wide is the Mississippi River? How fast does the Mississippi River flow? Find the answers to these questions and more in our top ten Mississippi River facts.

  • How did the Mississippi River get is name?The word Mississippi comes from Messipi, the French rendering of the Anishinaabe name for the river, Misi-ziibi .
  • Where does the Mississippi River begin?The Mississippi River water source is fed by Lake Itasca in Northern Minnesota and flows all the way down into the Gulf of Mexico.
  • What states does the Mississippi River touch?The Mississippi River either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.
  • How does the Mississippi River rank with others in the world?The Mississippi River is the third longest river in North America and flows 2,340 miles from beginning to end.
  • National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

    Cruising the Mississippi River on a Paddle Wheeler ...

    The warm, sunny weather that was following us upriver on our Mississippi cruise turned chilly for our morning arrival in Dubuque, IA. We quickly warmed to the city, however, with its revitalized riverfront that features the huge and handsome National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium our objective for an ACL-included self-guided tour.

    A Smithsonian affiliate, this sprawling complex has earned praise as the one of the Midwests finest museums.

    Built on the site of the Dubuque Boat & Boiler Works, operating from 1851 until 1972 as the nations largest shipbuilder on inland waters, the museum couldnt be better positioned to trace the colorful history of the Golden Age of Steamboating on the Mississippi.

    The museum couples seamlessly with the adjacent Aquarium where visitors can get up close and personal with some of the creatures that call the river home from massive gar and catfish to playful otters.

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    Can You Boat Down The Mississippi River

    The short answer is: yes, you absolutely can boat down the Mississippi river. You cannot, however take more than a kayak or rowboat on the upper 482 miles of the Mississippi river.

    The navigable section of the river begins at Coon Rapids Dam in Minneapolis. You can use a motor boat from that dam down the remaining 1,838 miles of the river until you hit the Gulf of Mexico.

    Traveling the Mississippi by boat could be a great adventure or it could be a horrible failure depending on your planning. If you just grab your boat and hit the water you would be fine in many areas but as you get closer to the mouth of the river the places to stop and fuel up are few and far between.

    There is one section where it is over 400 miles in between places to fuel up on the lower Mississippi. If you dont plan ahead and make sure that you take everything into account your dream journey could turn into a nightmare of floating powerless down the Mississippi hoping to find a place to refuel.

    Construction Of The Vessels

    Vessels were made of woodâtypically ranging in length from 40 feet to nearly 300 feet in length, 10 feet to 80 feet wide, drawing only about one to five feet of water loaded it was commonly said that they could “navigate on a heavy dew.” The boats had kingposts, or internal masts, to support hogchains, or iron trusses, which prevented the hull from sagging. A second deck was added, the Texas Deck, to provide cabins and passenger areas. Everything was constructed from wood. Stairs, galleys, and parlors were also added. Often the boats became quite ornate with wood trim, velvet, plush chairs, gilt edging, and other trimmings, sometimes per the owner’s taste and budget. Wood burning boilers were placed forward center to distribute weight. The engines were amidships or at the stern, depending on if the vessel was a sternwheeler or sidewheeler. Two rudders were fitted to help steer the ship.

    On average, vessels lasted only about five years due to the wooden hulls being breached, poor maintenance, fires, general wear and tear, and the common boiler explosion. Early trips up the Mississippi River took three weeks to arrive at the Ohio River. Later, with better pilots, more powerful engines and boilers, removal of obstacles, and experienced rivermen who knew the location of sandbars, that figure was reduced to 4 days. Collisions and snags were constant perils.

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    Complete Mississippi River Cruise

    The echoes of riverboat travelers from a bygone era resound as we travel the full length of the Mighty Mississippi. As ten states glide past your vantage point on the sun deck, admire what has been the subject of numerous works of art and the backdrop for countless American novels.From the vibrant cultural center of the Big Easy to the dramatic landscapes of the Upper Mississippi, experience life as it once was on the western frontier. Our expert guides will take you to the grand southern plantations, stately antebellum houses, and Civil War battlefields of the Lower Mississippi. Taste the finest Cajun and Creole and enjoy mouth-watering Memphis BBQ as you travel to the birthplace of Jazz, Blues, and Rockn-Roll.Cruising up the river, Hometown Americana takes center stage. Relive the adventures of Mark Twains time on a trolley ride through Hannibal, his boyhood hometown. Experience the legacy of John Deere in Davenport and the Victorian-era elegance of Dubuque. As we continue north, pasture gives way to forest and the wild life of Minnesota and Wisconsin comes into view.

    Just as it was in Mark Twains day, every cruise on the Mississippi River is unique due to fluctuating river conditions that can have an impact on our itinerary. The river has a mind of its own and our sailing schedules must adapt to it. This is part of the adventure and American Cruise Lines will always work to provide a seamless travel experience.

    What I Learned From Paddling The Entire Mississippi River

    (Long Version) 2012 Old Crow boat adventure down the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.

    When my friends asked me to move from Washington, D.C., to Minneapolis to help start an environmental education nonprofit, I said yes. When my friend, turned coworker, proposed that we paddle the length of the Mississippi River as an organization, I did not hesitate. After the Wild River Academys first summer of leading students on canoe trips on rivers near the Twin Cities, paddling the entire Big Muddy seemed like a great way to move out of the student canoe trip season, and forward into the rest of the year.

    When we first decided to pursue this adventure, we did not know exactly what we hoped to get out of it. What we did know was that the 2,300-mile Mississippi River was the perfect embodiment of two major themes of our student canoe trips: that our interconnectedness to the land and river occurs in more ways than we can truly understand, and that our well-being as a society is tied up in the health of the river. That seemed like a good place to start.

    Staying in line with our mission of experiential education at Wild River Academy, we decided to share our adventure down the Mississippi River in several ways: by exploring how people we encountered related to the river through filmed interviews allowing classrooms across the country to follow our trip online and utilize a K-12 river-focused curriculum and blogging and posting photos and videos as we traveled.

    All images courtesy Paddle Forward.

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    Mississippi River And Sailboats

    Telstar 28You know what the first rule of sailing is? …Love. You can learn all the math in the ‘verse, but you take a boat to the sea you don’t love, she’ll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she’s hurting ‘fore she keens. Makes her a home.POSTStill-DON’T READ THAT POST AGAIN.Mississippi cruisemiss cruise

    Why Houseboat On The Mississippi

    There are many places to rent houseboats. Websites like will help you find the different destinations.

    There was just something attractive about being on the Mississippi River rather than in a lake.

    Maybe its my life-long love of the writings of Mark Twain .

    Maybe it was the idea of passing by or stopping at different river towns while in the boat.

    Maybe it was experiencing the locks & dams that help control the river and still allow boating traffic to go up and down.

    Houseboating on the Mississippi just sounded more adventurous than being on a lake, constrained by a circular shoreline. We could actually go somewhere.

    So how did it go?

    It was definitely an adventure.

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    Best Boat For The Missouri River

    For the upper Missouri River, your best boat choice would be a kayak or canoe. You can easily pull them out and carry them around the dams while also traveling at a decent rate. Once you reach Sioux CIty below the Gavins Point Dam you can use any boat you like as those 734 miles are made to handle large barges.

    If you want to use a houseboat, speedboat, or just a fishing boat, all of them will work just fine on the lower Missouri River. Being that this website is all about houseboats thats obviously the boat that I would choose for your journey but some people prefer moving much faster than a houseboat will allow.

    Can You Float Down The Mississippi River

    61 best PADDLE BOATS images on Pinterest

    Floating down the Mississippi as in the days of old sounds like a great idea in theory. However in real life floating the entire way down is less than ideal and would most likely be impossible with the rivers current state.

    If there was a major catastrophe that caused all of the boat traffic on the river to stop then floating down the river without a motor wouldnt be a problem. With as many barges, tugboats, etc. that currently use the Mississippi for travel, free floating down the entire river would not be the best idea.

    Is it possible? Yes, you could float the river, but you would have to spend all of your time hugging the shore and trying to keep your boat from getting beached by the wake of the barges.

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    Cruising The Mississippi River Aboard The Queen Of The Mississippi

    My vessel of choice for the 7-day Mississippi River cruise was American Cruise Lines Queen of the Mississippi, a gleaming white five-deck 150-passenger replica of the 19th-century steamboats that routinely churned up and down the river, transporting both freight and passengers.

    ACL proclaims itself an All-American line, utilizing American crews and U.S.-built ships. This one was turned out in 2012 by a company-owned shipyard in Maryland.

    Beneath her antique veneer and authentic paddlewheel, the Queen of the Mississippi is a thoroughly modern craft featuring 78 cabins in seven categories, 65 of which have private balconies.

    They range in size from a 600-square-foot owners suite to single cabins at 210 square feet.

    Standard double cabins measure a commodious 304 square feet larger than most cruise ship staterooms. Each cabin has a satellite flat-screen TV/DVD, Keurig coffeemaker, wireless Internet access and complimentary Wi-Fi.

    Public areas include six lounges, ranging from a cozy library to the spacious Magnolia Lounge, home to most presentations and entertainment and a complimentary Happy Hour, a popular ACL tradition offered on all of its vessels.

    Up top, theres a sun deck, exercise equipment and a casual café. The Dining Salon is large enough to accommodate all 150 passengers at a single seating.

    Steamboats Of The Mississippi

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    Steamboats played a major role in the 19th-century development of the Mississippi River and its tributaries, allowing practical large-scale transport of passengers and freight both up- and down-river. Using steam power, riverboats were developed during that time which could navigate in shallow waters as well as upriver against strong currents. After the development of railroads, passenger traffic gradually switched to this faster form of transportation, but steamboats continued to serve Mississippi River commerce into the early 20th century. A small number of steamboats are still used for tourist excursions in the 21st century.


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    The Biggest Wildlife Threat

    The most significant wildlife threat is the tiny mosquito that may carry West Nile Virus, and more deaths are recorded from mosquitoes than all the other creatures in this list combined.

    So, there is much more to a trip down the Mississippi than just sitting in a canoe and being carried by the currents.

    It involves a lot of paddling, walking, and great care. It is perhaps these unexpected issues like Porterage areas, huge barges, and the logistics of picking up supplies that add significantly to the time involved on the trip.

    I hope you enjoyed this article and it help you understand How Long Does It Take To Float Down The Mississippi River.

    Mile Marker 6: Leavenworth Indiana

    can you sail down the Mississippi River?

    The Ohio River flooded in 1937, wiping out the residents of Leavenworth. Within a year, town officials were at work rebuilding Leavenworth, at the top of a cliff, rather than in its original location near the shoreline.

    Leavenworth Boat Ramp: At the foot of West Street in the former Lock and Dam 44.

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    Can You Float The Missouri River

    The Missouri River does a lot of meandering and flows into a variety of lakes in the upper portions which makes simply drifting down the river a VERY slow process. Can it be done? Yes, it certainly can but I personally wouldnt recommend just floating.

    Many people canoe or kayak the Upper MIssouri as there are many areas where you can go for 100-150 miles without encountering rough water. That meandering section or lakes would be difficult to float down but with amazing scenery it is excellent to paddle down.

    Floating is possible on the lower Missouri River as the current will normally run 3-5mph but there is a lot of barge and large boat traffic so floating that section is an option but avoiding those large boats while simply floating would be difficult to do.

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