Mississippi River-Hastings to Iowa

Hastings, Minnesota 55033

Mississippi River-Hastings to Iowa

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."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Skill Level
Class I
Watch for barges and other large watercraft. Wind can kick up big waves on wide-open lakes and stretches of river. Don’t approach too close to either the upstream or downstream sides of the big navigation dams.
Fishing, Camping, Birding
Additional Use
MDNR Information Center: (651) 296-6157 or (888) 646-6367 US Army Corps of Engineers web page
Local Contacts
MDNR Mississippi River Guide: A Guide to Boating on the Mississippi River between Hastings, Minnesota, and the Iowa Border: files.dnr.state.mn.us/education_safety/safety/boatwater/miss_river_guide.pdf; DeLorme: Minnesota Atlas & Gazetteer: Pages 27; 34–35
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018