Guidebook - Mississippi R. above Mpls.

Has anyone written a guidebook about the Mississippi River upstream from the Twin Cities?

I have the Minn DNR river section maps from Itasca to Mpls, but wonder if anyone has wrote up a description of where the river truly becomes paddleable, and what the availability of campsites it.

Looking for a section to paddle next summer, probably around 80 to 100 river miles in 4 days.

Thanks for the help.


Guidebook - Mississippi R. above Mpls.
The book Paddling Minnesota has a description of the Mississippi from Lake Itasca to the Iowa border. It includes maps that indicate where there are campsites, accesses etc.

As far as what’s paddleable,…
… try checking out air photos of the area. I use Terraserver for that:

There are other air-photo sites out there too, but I can’t remember what they are called. I’ve found air photos to work pretty well for figuring out how far upstream a river remains relatively obstruction-free and wide enough to paddle. You can even see individual strainers on these photos, if they are full-sixe trees. To get the hang of it, check out photos of waters you are familiar with first. The photos I’ve looked at in my area were all taken in early spring when water levels are usually high, so again it pays to check out local waters and see how they look on the photos so you can compare normal conditions to as-photographed water levels.

If you can’t find a guide book, check out the local county clerk’s office for a plat map which identifies landowners along the river. Contacting landowners can be a pain, but if you are ambitious enough to pursue this, you may be rewarded with camping privileges on private land.


– Last Updated: Jan-11-05 10:17 AM EST –

depends on what you consider paddlable... i paddled the Mississippi in the fall of 02...

IMO its the upper 400 miles that are most paddlable even tho checkered with 14 grueling
portages... actually they are a bit more spread out

sometimes the canoe campsites were very hard to spot..... we totally missed a few of them... not too many other places to pitch unless you dont mind camping at the local boatramp

i did a search for "canoeing the mississippi" and read a few journals before i left, here is the address to my 2002 Mississippi journal w photos.... you might be able to gather something from it......

Interesting Journal
Thank you for posting the link to your trip journal. I read each section from the start to the Iowa border.

Good stuff in there to think about.

I’ll read it again this weekend, with the maps on a table.


Paddling the Mississippi
I just finished reading the book “Floating Down The Country” by Matthew Mohlke. He started at Lake Itasca and went to New Orleans. I concluded the best part of the trip was the first 500 miles. He paddled solo and you should pick up some good tips for your trip. Good Luck!