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Missouri River, Missouri
Report by Marc W. McCord

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SOAR Inflatable Canoes - Somewhere On A River

The Missouri River is one of the major river systems in the United States, forming in far southwestern Montana at the confluence of the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin Rivers, then flowing across and through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, along the Nebraska-Iowa border, the Nebraska-Missouri border and the Kansas-Missouri border before turning eastward at Kansas City for its run across the "Show Me State" to its confluence with the Mighty Mississippi River at St. Louis. It has earned the nicknames "Big Muddy" and "Mighty Mo", but numerous dams and development along much of its course have caused immeasureable damage, leading to its naming as the "Most Endangered River" in 2001. The river runs about 2,315 miles, making it second in length only to the Mississippi. It drains over 1/6th of the United States (over 530,000 square miles). It was a principle waterway for Lewis and Clark on their Voyage of Discovery 200 years ago. The Missouri River basin is home to about 10 million people from 28 Native American nations, 10 states (Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri), and a small part of Canada. It's drainage basin drops in elevation from more than 14,000 feet msl near its headwaters to just 400 feet msl where it meets the Mississippi River. Environmental damage has caused major declines in the populations of many species of animals, birds and fish which have historically depended upon the waters of the Mighty Mo for their sustenance, including minnows, catfish, sturgeon, paddlefish, chubs, bigmouth buffalo, piping plover, least tern, bald eagle, and other raptors.

However, the Big Muddy, so named because of the huge amounts of silt it carries downriver, still offers many recreational opportunities for paddlers, campers, hikers, bikers, fishermen, hunters and other outdoors lovers along its waters, as well as those of its many tributary streams, several of which are located within the boundries of the State of Missouri. The links below provide information about outdoors activities and the business catering to recreational users of the river and its surroundings within the "Show Me State".

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

[ Missouri River ] [ Chariton River ] [ Crooked Creek ] [ Blackwater River ] [ Gasconade River ]
[ Osage Fork River ] [ Niangua River ] [ Little Niangua River ] [ Big Piney River ] [ Osage River ] [ Platte River ] [ Little Platte River ]

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© October 10, 2002. All rights reserved.
Last updated June 3, 2021

Copyright © 1998-2021, Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. All rights reserved. Southwest Paddler, CobraGraphics and Canoeman River Guide Services are trademarks of Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. The textual, graphic, audio, and audio/visual material in this site is protected by United States copyright law and international treaties. You may not copy, distribute, or use these materials except for your personal, non-commercial use. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All original photographs on this web site are the exclusive property of Marc W. McCord or other designated photographers and may not be copied, duplicated, reproduced, distributed or used in any manner without prior written permission under penalty of US and International laws and treaties.