The sign up for Floatzilla is open. It is a once a year opportunity  to paddle the mighty Mississippi river with no barge traffic. I have done this several times in the past. This is an event that draws paddlers from all over. A chance to experience the river with a safety net of Coast Guard boats if you have a mishap. 
  At the end they do a big flotilla when all of the paddlers have met at the end of the various paddles. Something for every skill level.
  Where the Mississippi runs east to west. At the Illinois and Iowa border between I80 and I280

  When aug,21,2021


Happy Paddling Jeff

What is the procedure for “locking through” . I assume there will be big groups of boats. They locking through with just kayaks?

Looks like a fun event

The locking through is the same as boats. They will open the lock gate and you will paddle in. They will close the gate,lower the water level, open the downstream gate and you will paddle out. Its the same lock they use for the barges so there will be other canoes and kayaks in the lock also. Its kind of neat to be able to say you have done it.


I am not a big crowd person, but I enjoy getting out on the Mississippi in a canoe and experiencing the size and power of the river
Some people really love the crowd and live band while you just float around on Lake Potter.
They do a nice job of making it enjoyable for all skill levels.


Went to a Flotzilla attempt in Cornell, Wis. Many rec-kayaks and canoes. People asked us if out sea kayaks were really kayaks.

They had a raffle where you paddled to a station to get a ticket. With our speed we stopped at twice the stops in the same allotted time.

There are a lot of rec kayaks and newbies. A lot of the people just enjoy being on the water to float around with friends and family. Others enjoy the actual paddle more. Sea kayaks are not something we see a lot of around here. Even high end canoes are rare.


Paddled from I74 to I280(sunset marina) as part of Floatzilla yesterday. Perfect morning from my perspective. They stop barge traffic and have a great safety team so these paddles can be enjoyed by all skill levels.

The morning started out with glass smooth water with occasional sprinkles. Went to Illinois side of the river and enjoyed the view of Arsenal Island. 1 old structure on a side channel that appeared to be a loading dock for barges. Several historic residences also. Got to the lock was the first in ended up waiting 45 min for others to get in lock. Dropped around 20 ft. When we got out of lock there was 1 to 2 foot waves. The Bell Northwind RX just cruised right on through with my 16 yo daughter and I. As we rounded the bend towards Sunset Marina the waves settled down a little. We finished our paddle after enjoying the scenic urban views of the Quad Cities by paddling into Lake Potter.

We finished on shore with a live bands and several food vendors. The festive atmosphere was just beginning to build. We choose to enjoy a gyro and paddle to the other end of the marina and wait for my wife to pick us up. Very enjoyable morning.

This event can be whatever you want it to be. You can be fairly solitary or be with a crowd the Mighty Mississippi is a big place. What a great once a year event to introduce people to the river and the more experienced to enjoy however they wish.

I am not affiliated with flotzilla in any way, just my personal experience.

Happy Paddling