About the Association

Mississippi River Water Trail, a National Water Trail since 2012, encompasses 121 miles of the Mississippi River including the confluence of the two longest rivers in the country, 75 sites including  62 rest areas and 17 camping areas, three lock and dams, and spanning two states, rural areas and a large urban area St Louis Missouri.   The Mississippi is the river that flows past the origin of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the St. Louis Arch and attracts people from all over the world.  The Mississippi River Water Trail is a magnificent destination for paddlers, close to home for millions of people, as well as scenic, and healing.

Since 2007, MRWTA has coordinated volunteers and events on the river to insure quality, affordable, recreational and educational opportunities and to promote safe public use of the trail.  We collaborate with communities, organizations, and agencies to foster conservation by both developing and supporting the trail.

Our largest activities include a paddle festival, a racing event, an introduction to paddling event, and a speaker series, engage mostly families.   Users of the water trail include a mix of rural, urban, and suburban people who are geocachers, birders, fishermen, duck hunters, motor boaters, recreational paddlers (mostly suburban), racers, and international and national long-distance paddlers.  A 2016 grant enabled over 150 underserved youth to learn to canoe.  Boy Scouts and their adult leaders received kayak lessons from us.  Our speaker series attracts a variety of people interested in river history, extreme races, adventure paddling, and safety.  We sponsor a race for elite adult paddlers.

US Army Corps Development

The Mississippi River Water Trail was developed by the US Army Corps of Engineers in concert with the American Canoe Association and partnering organizations in response to public requests for a water trail on the Mississippi River within the St. Louis District boundary. The Corps has developed day use rest areas, primitive camping areas, watchable wildlife and interpretive opportunities on the Mississippi River.

Volunteers provides support by maintaining trail rest areas, primitive campsites and facilities to ensure quality recreational opportunities for paddlers.

The association promotes safety awareness and provide activities, events, and educational opportunities. The water trail association also facilitates collaboration with communities, organizations, and agencies to foster sound safety and conservation practices along the river.

What is a Water Trail?

Water trails are recreational waterways on a lake, river or ocean between specific points, containing access points, day use, and/or primitive camping sites for the boating public. Serving as ribbons of discovery, water trails create educational opportunities, promote a healthy economy and high quality of life while preserving natural and cultural heritage.

Planning a Trip on the Mississippi River?