Amazing waterways run through the St. Louis region. These include the majestic confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers that not only gives visitors a glimpse of our historical past, but opens a world of epic adventure. From canoeing or floating, or just watching the waters flow by, there’s true sense of awe for all those called to explore and experience the tributaries that help make St. Louis a unique destination.
Audubon Center at Riverlands
Located on the Mississippi River in the 3,700-acre Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary, the Audubon Center at Riverlands is your gateway and getaway to nature in St. Louis. The Sanctuary’s 8.5 miles of trails, river islands, prairie marsh, scenic overlooks, one-of-kind avian observatory, and picnic areas, provide multiple access points to the Mississippi River, and abundant year round opportunities to view birds and enjoy the outdoors. The sustainably built Center boasts a spectacular 140-degree view of Ellis Bay. Welcoming, and replete with spotting scopes, field guides, and helpful staff and volunteers, the Center offers unmatched experiences to view wintering Trumpeter Swans and Bald Eagles
Big Muddy Adventures
A variety of full-day and multi-day adventures on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers include a monthly dinner paddle (“Full Moon Float”), sunset and private dinner trips, as well as custom guided trips for groups between four and 30 people. Trips times vary anywhere from four to 10 hours and do not include meet up or shuttle times.
Columbia Bottoms Conservation Area
A viewing deck provides an expansive panorama contour of the cropland, forest and wetlands of the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. There is a visitor center and office along with hiking and biking trails, interpretive sites and a boat ramp to the Missouri River.
Jones-Confluence Point State Park
Watch two of the nation’s mightiest rivers merge at the Jones-Confluence Point State Park in
St. Charles County. The confluence of the muddy Mississippi and the Missouri Rivers is where the Lewis and Clark Expedition began in 1804. Waterfowl, bald eagles and raptors make the wetlands there a great place to hike and take photographs.
Lewis & Clark State Historic Site
A 55-foot full-scale replica of the keelboat used by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their journey across the continent nearly 213 years ago is featured at the 14,000-square-foot facility located at the winter camp area of the expedition. Visitors are immersed in a cacophony of rippling waves in the dreamlike realm of the digital theater that features a firsthand account of the trip that began at the River Dubois near the mouth of the Missouri River in Harford, IL.
Meeting of the Great Rivers
Considered one of the “Seven Wonders of Illinois,” the 33-mile Meeting of the Great Rivers Byway begins in Hartford, IL and winds west and north through Alton, along the forested river bluffs, to Grafton at Pere Marquette State Park. Spectacular scenery, archeological finds, historic happenings, cultural experiences and memorable recreation await visitors along the way.
National Great Rivers Museum
Daily tours of the lock and dam highlight any visit to the museum, which is located on the Mississippi River in Alton, Illinois. The adjacent gallery exhibition features OUR RIVER videos, interactive displays and the chance to “steer” the life-size, realistic replica of a towboat pilothouse and barge.
Sioux Passage Park
The 188-acre park along the Missouri River offers camping, fishing, hiking and horseback riding, disc golf, picnic shelters, playgrounds, and tennis courts. Sioux Passage is also a designated winter sports area with snowmobiling, sled riding and cross-country skiing permitted.