|Cruising the Upper Mississippi River
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|The Illinois River joins the Mississippi River at Grafton. You will need to fill all your tanks (fuel &
water) at Grafton. From Grafton, you will take the Mississippi to the Ohio River and on to the Tennessee or
Cumberland rivers, to reach Kentucky Lake and make your way to the Tennessee-Tombigbee route to Mobile
Bay. The fuel range required for this leg of your journey is 208 miles. You will have to make it from Hoppies
Marina to Paudcah - which is also Mile 0 on the Tennessee river.
|Cairo is your decision point. If you haven't made up your mind to take the Tennessee
Tombigbee by the time you reach Cairo, well, the river's current may make it up for you.
|"The Water World of America's Heartland"
( Why cruising the Great Loop is much-much more than just a great loop. )
|The Mississippi River:
Obviously, the Mississippi River had to start somewhere, for Great Loopers, it starts in Grafton,
While Grafton is Mile 0 on the Illinois Upper Mississippi River.
Cairo is Mile 954 on the Lower Mississippi River. Therefore Grafton is (954 + 219) or 1,173 miles
from the Gulf of Mexico, and 1,080 to Harvey Lock at the Gulf ICW..
|Mississippi River at Cairo
|The Upper Mississippi:
The next big city from Grafton is St. Louis, Missouri, and surprisingly there are no Marinas or
good anchorage options in the St Louis area.
|From Hoppies, and for the next 158 miles or so, you will discover wingdams. Wingdams wing dams
on the upper Mississippi River and on the Illinois Waterway. If the river is a little high, you may not see
them. If you know what to look for, wing dams can be recognized by the ripples on the surface of the
|You will enter the Chain of Rocks canal at Mile marker 194.1. Do not continue down the river. The
canal takes you safely past the hazardous chain of rocks reach of the Mississippi River. It ends at Mile marker
184, experience the hardest and fastest current of your entire voyage. In fact, you will race past the St Louis Arch.
It is 184 miles from the Chain of Rocks to the Ohio River. If you average going down river at 9 mph it will take you
13 hours to reach the Ohio River.
|St Louis Gateway
You will cruise by the St Louis
Arch on your way between
Alton Marina and Hoppies.
|Kidd River Fuel:
This is a diesel fuel stop in Cape
Girardeau, Missouri at Mile Marker
Kidd River delivers fuel by truck and
no longer sells gasoline. They also
require a 24 hour notice for diesel fuel
deliveries. They deliver fuel to a
floating dock along the river bank.
There are no services of any kind.
|Wing Dams: locations
are marked on your charts
and GPS system. Going down
the rivers, it is important to
know what these are, where
they are, and how to identify
|Cairo is Mile 954 on the Lower Mississippi River.
Cairo is also Mile 0 on the Upper Mississippi River.
|Hoppies is a MUST fuel stop
|- Cruising America's Great Loop - Once Around Is Not Enough -