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Water Trails > Missouri River Water Trail

Missouri River Water Trail (MO)

aka: Lewis & Clark Water Trail

General Information:
The Missouri Department of Conservation has worked to greatly improve river access by expanding the number of boat ramps and public lands within the riverís corridor. The development of Katy Trail State Park provides a hiking and biking path that follows a large portion of the riverís path and has also spawned a whole range of services very close to the river's edge. The combination of these elements set the stage for the development of a formal water trail on more than 500 miles of the lower Missouri River.

The Missouri River offers a truly unique paddling experience, with opportunities for simple day trips or multi-day expeditions. The Missouri River is a large, fast-flowing river, with scenic views and a remote setting. A majority of Missourians live within a 20-minute drive of the river. This provides a world-class big river paddling experience right in their own backyard.

The value of this resource was recognized in the fall of 2006, when Missouri Governor Matt Blunt directed a coalition of Missouri agencies Ė including the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Conservation and the Department of Economic Developmentís Division of Tourism to formally establish a water trail on the lower Missouri River.

A strategic goal of this initiative is to use the power of the Internet to provide information and resources for planning a trip on the Missouri River. Printed materials are also being developed and efforts are underway to help communities take advantage of the water trail. The Missouri River served as a primary pathway to the west, playing a key role in Missouriís development and highlighting the regions cultural heritage.

We hope you will consider a paddling trip on the historic "Big Muddy." It is a large river and does require a certain amount of respect. We encourage you to review the safety tips prior to paddling on the river and to always use good judgment. Remember that the river is much more powerful than you are.

Waterways: Missouri River


River Safety:

The lower Missouri River is really not an appropriate river to learn to canoe or kayak for the first time. It is a very large and powerful river and can present some special challenges for paddlers, with significant changes in both river level and paddling conditions. The best way to get on the Missouri River for the first time is to accompany a paddler who is familiar with the river or with an organized group or guide service. You are always responsible for your own safety when boating. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the challenges presented by the Missouri River.

Contact Information:

P.O. Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102

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