America's Great Loop
Green Turtle Marina
Mississippi river voyage
Hoppies Marina on the Mississippi river
cruising the Mississippi river
Cruising the Upper Mississippi River
© 1993 - 2017
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 250 miles. You will have to make it from Hoppies Marina to either the Kentucky Dam Marina (mile 22) or
Green Turtle Bay Marina (mile 25) 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, IL.

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 51.9.

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
Alton Marina
is located at Mile 202 UMR

Hoppies Marina
is located at Mile 158.5

Your next fuel stops from
Hoppies on the Tennessee
- Tombigbee route are 250
miles away.

They are Kentucky Dam
Marina, (Mile marker 22)
and Green Turtle Bay
Marina (Mile marker 25) on
the Tennessee river.

There is no longer a Marina
or a fuel stop in Paducah -
but there may be one by the
time you get there,
To take OHIO River
Tennessee-Tombigbee to GULF ICW
To take Lower Mississippi River
Cairo is Mile 954 on the Lower Mississippi River.
Cairo is also Mile 0 on the Upper Mississippi River.
boating the Mississippi river
Hoppies is a MUST fuel stop
To cruise the Ohio River - click next
Believe us . . .  Cruising the Lower Mississippi River is not the wonderful romantic easy going adventure it once was. That's not to say it isn't a
fantastic adventure - it is - but for sure, you need to know what to expect. The LMR (Lower Mississippi River) has been plagued with floods,
it's banks have eroded and the result is, there are really only two Marinas along your way. There is but 2 additional places you can reach
shore and dock safely.
The Tenn-Tom route however offers a host of Marinas and wonderful convenient places to stop and great tourist attractions to visit.  
- Cruising America's Great Loop - Once Around Is Not Enough -
advice from Capt John