Recreational Signage Excursions
In 2019, the MHB received a grant from Enbridge and worked with Aitkin county to produce recreational signage on the Mississippi River. It was determined that many people want to recreate and take a short 3 to 5 hour trip on the Mississippi River, but lack the knowledge of where an access is located and where they can exit the River further downstream. The MHB decided that a defined trailhead kiosk with a map of where to enter and exit the Miss. River at a local park or public area would eliminate some of the fear of starting the journey. There was also an exit sign produced so that paddlers knew exactly where to exit the Mississippi once they got close a downstream landing. A QR code was developed so that smartphones could scan and download a digital map and track their journey in real time as they navigate downstream. Once the signs were produced, other counties wanted to participate and recreational signage is being developed in certain locations across the Mississippi Headwaters Board counties.
Regional View of Signed Mississippi River Excursions
(click on red stretches for a detailed map)
Maple Island Park to Blanchard Dam excursion- Download Map (approximate paddle time: 3 hours)
Driving Directions from Little Falls: Google Map Maple Island Park in your browser
Driving Directions to Blanchard Dam: From Little Falls, head South on US-10 E; Turn right on to 83rd St.; turn left on Hilton Rd.; turn right on road to Blanchard dam just before Soo Line ATV Trail and then turn right on Garland Road which leads to the public water access
Belle Prairie Park to LeBourget Park excursion- Download Map (approximate paddle time: 1.5 hours)
Driving Directions to Belle Prairie Park: Google Map Belle Prairie County Park 19161 Haven Rd., Little Falls, MN.
Driving Directions from Belle Prairie Park to Le Bourget Park: Exit Belle Prairie County Park and turn right onto Haven Rd.; road turns into 1st St. NE; turn right onto Broadway E.; Turn right onto Paul Larson Memorial Dr. and then proceed to park.
Palisade to Waldeck Landing excursion - Download Map (approximate paddle time: 4 hours)
Driving Directions to Palisade: Google Map Berglund Park
Driving Directions to Waldeck: Exit Berglund Park and head West on Hwy. 10 (Great River Road); Turn left onto US-169; turn left 442nd Ln. (Miss. River Public Access).
Waldeck to Kimball excursion - Download Map (approximate paddle time: 3.5 hours)
Driving Directions to Waldeck: From the city of Aitkin, take US-169 N and turn right onto 442nd Ln. (Miss. River Public Access).
Driving Directions to Kimball: Exit Waldeck access and head South on US-169; turn right onto 390th St.; follow and turn right onto 390 Pl. This will lead to public water access.
Kimball to Aitkin County Campground excursion - Download Map (approximate paddle time: 2.5 hours)
Driving Directions to Kimball: Google Minnesota State Kimball access Mississippi River
Driving Directions to Aitkin County Campground: Google Map Aitkin Campground (Aitkin County Park). Exit Kimball landing and turn left onto 390th St.; Turn right onto US-169 S.; follow to Aitkin and turn right onto Minnesota Ave. N.; Turn left onto 4th St. NW; turn right onto 4th Ave. NW and destination will be on the left.
Aitkin City Park to County Campground excursion - Download Map (approximate paddle time: 2 hours)
Driving Directions to Aitkin City Park: Google Map Aitkin City Park
Driving Directions to Aitkin County Campground: Exit city park and head East on 1st St. SW; turn left onto Minnesota Ave. N (Hwy 169) and head North; turn left onto 4th St. NW; follow and turn right onto 4th Ave. NW. Destination will be on the left.
Big Sandy Lake Rec. Area to Wold's Ferry Landing excursion - Download Map (approximate paddle time: 4.5 hours)
Driving Directions to Big Sandy Lake Rec. Area: Google Map Sandy Lake Recreation Area Campground McGregor, MN
Driving Directions to Wold's Ferry Landing: Google Map Wold’s Ferry Crossing Public Water Access.
Steamboat Park to Blackberry Bridge excursion - Download Map (approximate paddle time: 2.5 hours)
Driving Directions to Steamboat Park: From Grand Rapids Police Dept. (google), head South on Pokegama Ave. and turn left on 1st St. SE; continue to head East and turn left just before the River Grand Senior Living Center.
Driving Directions to Blackberry Bridge: From Steamboat Park turn left onto River Rd. (Hwy. 3)and follow it until you turn left onto County Rd. 91; 91 turns into Bluebird Dr. and you turn right at the public water access sign after crossing the blackberry bridge.
Pokegama Lake Rec. Area to Sylvan Bay Landing excursion - Download Map (approximate paddle time: 1.25 hours)
Driving Directions to Pokegama Lake Rec. Area: Google Map Pokegama Dam Campground.
Driving Directions to Sylvan Bay Landing: Google Map Sylvan Bay landing and fishing pier.
Lake Winnibigoshish to Leech Lake Landing excursion - Download Map (approximate paddle time: 7.5 hours)
Driving Directions to Big Winnie Dam: Google Map Winnibigoshish Dam, Deer River, MN.
Driving Directions to Leech Lake River Landing: Exit Winnibigoshish Dam parking lot and turn right onto County Rd. 9. Turn right onto State Hwy 46 S. Turn right onto County Hwy. 39. Continue onto Arctic Rd. Turn left onto US-2 East. Turn right onto Co. Hwy. 18. Turn right at public access sign.
Bimijiwan Recreation Area to Winnie Campround excursion - Download Map (approximate paddle time: 4 hours)
Driving Directions to Bimijiwan Rec Area: Google Map Bimijiwan. Note: It is now named Bimijiwan but it will show up as Knutson Dam Campground.
Driving Directions to Winnie Campground: Exit Bimijiwan recreation area and turn right (South) onto Scenic Hwy. SE (Hwy. 39); continue South and turn left onto Cass River Rd. SE; follow road and turn left onto Third River Road SE; turn right onto United States Forest Service Rd. 2168 which will take you to Winnie Campground.