1721, French explorer, Father Pierre Francois de Charlevoix, wrote of the
confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, "I believe this is
the finest confluence in the world. The two rivers are much the same
breadth, each about half a league: but the Missouri is by for the most
rapid, and seems to enter the Mississippi like a conqueror, through which it
carries its white waters to the opposite shore without mixing them,
afterwards, it gives its color to the Mississippi which it never loses again
but carries quite down to the sea ..."
Visitors can still witness the 2 rivers as they
merge at this
1,118-acre park located on the north side of the Missouri River at its
confluence with the Mississippi River north of St. Louis. The park was
named for Pat and the late Edward “Ted” Jones, for their contributions
to the Missouri park system. The Joneses were largely responsible for the
development of the 225-mile-long KATY Trail, a rails-to-trails project that
created a trail that runs alongside the Missouri River and crosses the
Lewis and Clark Connection
On May 14, 1804, William Clark wrote "Set out at 4 oClock P.M. in
the presence of many of the Neighbouring inhabitents, and proceeded on under
a jentle brease up the Missourie..." The Lewis and Clark Expedition began at this confluence
although the confluence point has moved 2 miles
downstream from the point where the Corps of Discovery entered into the
Missouri River. The Missouri
Department of Natural Resources intends to restore a natural floodplain reminiscent
of what Lewis and Clark might have seen along the lower Missouri River. This
will include native vegetation and natural wetlands and feature forests,
prairies, and marshes.
|Visit our special Lewis
and Clark Section to learn more about the Corps of Discovery’s
experience during their stay in the Middle Mississippi River Valley. greatriverroad.com’s
special coverage includes information on all of the region’s sites and
events as well as supplemental articles relating to the expedition’s
experience during the winter of 1803-04.
The confluence point is one of the area's best places
for bird watching as millions of birds migrate along the Mississippi River
corridor each spring & fall. Commons birds seen in the area include American
Bald Eagles, great blue herons, geese, gulls, American
White Pelicans, and many kinds of
park features interpretive panels that explain the Lewis &
Clark expedition, the surrounding wetlands, and the history of the two
rivers. A 1/4 mile handicapped accessible paved trail leads winds through
maple and willow trees to the point
where visitors have an unobstructed view of the confluence of the Mississippi
and Missouri Rivers.
Confluence Point State Park
is listed on the National Audubon Society's
River Birding Trail. They report that birders should for similar
species of migratory and resident species of birds of the Riverlands
Environmental Demonstration Area.
Visiting Confluence Point State
Park grounds are open daily from 8 a.m. to
one-half hour after sunset.
There is no charge to visit Confluence Point
Directions: Confluence Point State Park is located near
West Alton, Missouri. From US-67 turn onto Riverlands Way (at the FISCA station)
near the Clark Bridge. Follow the paved road for 2 miles and the gravel road
for approximately 4 1/2 miles to the parking lot.
Confluence Point State Park is across the river from Alton,
Illinois in the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway area.
- Official Missouri DNR page