April 11, 2008
Jefferson City, MO - If you long for adventure but lack the time or money
for long-distance travel, Missouriís Lewis and Clark Water Trail is
your escape from the ordinary.
The water trail encompasses more than 500 miles of the Missouri
River, from the Iowa State line to the riverís confluence with the
Mississippi River. Along the way it passes historic river towns and
landscapes that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark described on
their epic journey 200 years ago.
Many parks and conservation areas have interpretive signs and
monuments telling about the Corps of Discovery and how current
conditions compare to those the explorers encountered. Today, as in
1804, the river teems with wildlife, from bald eagles and migratory
birds of every description to deer, turkeys, monster blue catfish
Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt designated the water trail in 2006 to call
attention to the treasure trove of outdoor recreation and history
available along Missouriís stretch of the river. The fact that Katy
Trail State Park parallels the water trail for 150 miles multiplies
the opportunities for adventure.
The Missouri departments of Conservation and Natural Resources and
the Division of Tourism, in cooperation with other partners, set up
a website -
www.missouririverwatertrail.org - to help people rediscover the
riverís diverse recreational assets. The website has maps and
practical information, such as driving directions to river accesses,
city parks, viewing sites and camping facilities. It has paddling
and trip-planning tips and suggested day trip routes for canoeists,
kayakers, boaters, hikers, bicyclists, nature photographers, hunters
and anglers. For sites managed by the Conservation Department, links
allow you not only to see area brochures, but also connect directly
to all information in the agencyís online Conservation Atlas.
The website also has links to canoe and kayak guide and rental
services, riverside resorts, regional paddling associations and
sources of information about the riverís cultural and natural
histories. The link to Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge
provides access to information about 10,000 acres along the river
between Kansas City and St. Louis.
There is even a link to a webcam that takes photos of the river
every 10 minutes at the North Overton Bottoms chute. Viewing the 200
images there gives website visitors a glimpse of the riverís many
The websiteís newest element is a featured section of the river.
There you will find photos and detailed information about planning
trips of different kinds and lengths in the featured river section.
ďA majority of Missourians live within a 30-minute drive of the
Missouri River,Ē said Shannon Cave, water trail coordinator for the
Conservation Department. ďAn increasing number of people want to use
the river. The website is designed to make that as easy as