Mississippi River Info
Locks, Dams and the Great River Road
The upper Mississippi contains a series of 30 locks and dams, which begin in Minneapolis, MN and continue on down to Granite City, IL. These sets of locks and dams allow for the navigation of boats and barges on the river by controlling water levels from pool to pool. Each dam creates a lake-sized pool of water for the nine-foot channel. Locks adjacent to the dams then raise and lower the river traffic, depending on the direction of travel. The lock and dam system on the upper Mississippi lowers the river about 420 feet over the 700-mile course between St. Paul and St. Louis.
One of the main features alongside the Mississippi is the great river road. The great river road consists of a 3,000-mile network of federal, state and local roads on both sides of the river. This network of roads and highways starts in Canada and continues on all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. The Great River Road is one of the nations oldest and longest national scenic by-ways. The road is a ten state cooperative effort spanning over fifty years. It offers some of the best scenery of any drive in the country, as it follows along a course in which the river and bluffs dazzle with color and festivities. Over 240 miles of the road can be found in Wisconsin, which is state Hwy 35 from Prescott to Dickeyville.
Fun Facts of the Mississippi
The Mississippi River is the second longest river in North America!
The only floating McDonalds can be found on the Mississippi River in St. Louis!