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Activities and Attractions
in the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway Area
   
  Orchards and Farmers Markets
The abundance of local orchards, pick your own operations, roadside stands, and local farmers' markets of the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway region provide fruits and vegetables have traveled less than 50 miles or might have been grown on the spot. The first fruits make their appearance in mid June. Apples and pumpkins are available into October.
  Fall Colors
Beginning in late September and lasting until early November the region comes alive with spectacular fall colors. A variety of ways to view nature's beauty awaits visitors that traverse the Great River Road that travels over the bluffs and through the river towns. The regions abundance of parks and natural areas offer breathtaking vistas from scenic overlooks and hiking trails. The fall season is also the busiest season in the area for festivals and other activities. There are harvest festivals, reenactments, scarecrow contests, guided nature hikes, and more.
  Bald Eagles
From the middle of December to the middle of March the Middle Mississippi River Valley hosts the second largest overwintering Bald Eagle population in the continental United States. Peak number of eagles occur in January and February. A number of organizations and communities host entertaining and educational programs that allow visitors to get up close and personal with our national symbol as well as see them in their natural habitat.
  Spring Blossoms
Beginning in late March the first wildflowers of the season start to bloom. April and May is the season for the area's flowering trees.
  Ferries of the Middle Mississippi River Valley
There are 5 ferries, 2 free and 3 toll, that cross the Mississippi River in the Middle Mississippi River Valley. 4 are located in Jersey and Calhoun counties and another provides service between Ste. Genevieve, MO and Randolph County, IL.
  Visitor Centers
The region has numerous Visitor Centers designed to enhance your experience.
  Water Activities
The Melvin Price Locks and Dam near Alton, Illinois creates a 36-mile stretch of the Mississippi River up to Lock and Dam #25 near Winfield, Missouri where the width of the river can reach as wide as a mile. The Illinois River flows into this 36,000 square acres body of water called Alton Lake. Alton Lake entices all types of boaters to ply the waters of the mighty Mississippi. Many marinas and other businesses rent motorboats, personal watercraft, and sailboats so that people can experience the river as it flows below 100-foot limestone river bluffs. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers offers an abundance of recreational areas.
  Public Boat Launches
The Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway Area has a number of boat launches that are open to the public that allow boaters access to both the Mississippi And Illinois Rivers.
  Living History Events
History is “alive” and well in the Middle Mississippi River Valley. The region is host to a number of annual "Living History" events as reenactors take on personas and cover the French Fur Trapper, the Civil War, and early settlers eras that played important parts in shaping the way things are today.
  Bird Watching
Although the area is best known as a winter haven for the Bald Eagle, the area is rich in diversity of birds with approximately 300 species having been sighted in the area. There are three premier bird watching sites in the area - Pere Marquette State Park, the Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge and the Riverlands Environmental Demonstration Area near the Melvin Price Locks and Dam.
  State Historical Markers
Descriptions of the regions State Historical Markers.
  Maps
Index to maps of the area.
  Up and Down The Middle Mississippi River Valley
Explore the history, attractions and outdoor activities of the different regions that make up the central section of the Great River Road system.
   
FEATURED ATTRACTIONS ALONG THE GREAT RIVER ROAD
Pere Marquette
State Park
Cahokia Mounds
State Historic Site
McCully
Heritage Project
Lewis and Clark
State Historic Site
     



 
  Regional Guides
to the Middle Mississippi River Valley
 
       
  Meeting of the Great Rivers
National Scenic Byway
Ste. Genevieve &
French Colonial Country
Gateway to the West
St. Louis & St. Louis County
        
 
   Meeting the Missouri
Historic St. Charles County
The Lincoln Hills Region
Northeast Missouri
   
 
  The Tri-States Area
Iowa, Illinois & Missouri
The Mississippi River
Meets the Ohio River
   
  greatriverroad.com Home Page
Your index to over 800 informative pages covering the Middle Mississippi River Valley.
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