Mississippi River-Hastings to Iowa Professional Review and Guide
"Below Hastings, the Mississippi spreads wide into innumerable backwaters, side channels, and riverine lakes. These features provide great opportunities to watch birds and other wildlife.
From the Twin Cities to the Iowa border, the Mississippi flows over several locks and dams, most built in the 1930s to create a chain of navigable pools along the river. The backwaters created by these dams form a fascinating labyrinth for paddlers. Some paddlers will want to start at one point and paddle downstream for many miles, as though they were traveling a run-of-the-mill river, but the Mississippi ain’t a run-of-the-mill stream. It’s big and sprawling and varied, with bluffs on each side, like a spine of mountains winding down each shore. Many stretches are lakelike. Towboats maneuver mammoth strings of barges up and downriver."