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Grand River, Missouri
Report by Marc W. McCord

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SOAR Inflatable Canoes - Somewhere On A River

Rising in southwestern Iowa, the Grand River is the largest northern Missouri tributary of the Missouri River, draining 6,320 square miles that includes all of Harrison, Mercer, Grundy, Daviess, and Livingston Counties, and parts of Worth, Putnam, Gentry, De Kalb, Clinton, Caldwell, Carroll, Chariton, Linn and Sullivan Counties in a basin that is about 150 miles long and 90 miles wide. Our native ancestors understood and respected the nature of water and the flow of rivers. Our European ancestors foolishly believed, and continue to believe, that they can control nature and reduce flooding by channelizing and damming rivers. Of course, they are wrong, but don't tell them that! The Grand River is another example where man-made intervention seeks to allow development and settlement in natural floodplains, and as we know all too well, sometimes the efforts made result in even greater flooding with subsequent loss of life and property. In the end, the laws of physics always prevail, and water always seeks its own level, regardless of who owns land nearby or what efforts have been made to control its flow. Dams on the Grand River have created several reservoirs for municipal water supplies and altered the natural landscape to the detriment of wildlife and waterfowl that were here long before any of us. Be that as it may, the Grand River still offers recreational paddling opportunities on flatwater with a modest gradient and gentle currents most of the time, though it is not a wildly popular place to canoe, kayak or raft. Most of the river's path flows through sparsely-populated farming country and small towns. There are no campgrounds, outfitters or other river-related services along the river, so this is a place for self-supported paddlers who enjoy remote wilderness adventures.

Click the links below for information regarding the section of the Grand River and its tributaries where you want to paddle.

[ Grand River ] [ Locust Creek ] [ Thompson River ]

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