The Great River Road

The Great River Road, a collection of state and local highways that follow the Mississippi River course on both its East and West sides, was designated by the US Congress Great River Road logo! in 1938 during the Roosevelt Administration. Originally, the Great River Road was internationally marked as it included Ontario and Manitoba, Canada. Currently, representatives from ten states lead in preserving, promoting and enhancing the Great River Road (GRR) National Scenic Byway (NSB) along the Mississippi River benefitting communities and travelers.

 

This nearly 3,000-mile National Scenic Byway runs from Lake Itasca, MN, to the Gulf of Mexico. It is one of the oldest, longest and most unique byways in North America, offering a gateway to the Mississippi River Valley’s great history, the blending of cultures and a host of recreational options to all visitors.

The Mississippi River Parkway Commission (MRPC) is the coalition of representatives from the states that border the Mississippi River: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. Through MRPC efforts all 10 states identify the scenic byway with signage showing a river steamboat inside a pilot wheel. Many Great River Road signs also include the name of the state.

Must-see attractions and family-friendly events along the Great River Road are designated by the MRPC using 11 major themes acknowledging the Mississippi River as the flow of life shaping both land and people. Within each of the 10 states, the MRPC sanctions interpretive centers that highlight at least one of the themes: prehistoric and historic cultures; folk life, literary, fine art, and music; American history; natural resources; river grandeur and diversity; the economics of Mississippi River transportation; and industries along the Mississippi.

Great River Road Interpretive Centers 

Minnesota

Itasca State Park - Jacob Brower Visitor Center
36750 Main Park Dr., Park Rapids, MN 56470
218-699-7251 • dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/itasca

Forest History Center
2609 Cty. Rd. 76, Grand Rapids, MN 55744
218-327-4482 • mnhs.org/foresthistory
 
Mill City Museum
704 S. 2nd St., Minneapolis, MN 55401
612-341-7582 • millcitymuseum.org
 
Historic Fort Snelling
200 Tower Ave., St. Paul, MN 55111
612-726-1171 • historicfortsnelling.org
 
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102
651-259-3000 • minnesotahistorycenter.org
 
The Science Museum of Minnesota
120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102
651-221-9444 • smm.org
 
NPS Mississippi River Visitor Center
120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102
651-293-0200 • nps.gov/miss/planyourvisit/mrvcabou.htm
 
National Eagle Center
50 Pembroke Ave., Wabasha, MN 55981
877-332-4537 • nationaleaglecenter.org
 
Minnesota Marine Art Museum
800 Riverview Dr., Winona, MN 55987
866-940-6626 • mmam.org
 
Winona County History Center
160 Johnson St., Winona, MN 55987
507-454-2723 • winonahistory.org
 

Iowa

Effigy Mounds National Monument
151 Hwy. 76, Harpers Ferry, IA 52146
563-873-3491 • nps.gov/efmo
 
Motor Mill Historic Site
29862 Osborne Rd., Elkader, IA 52043
563-245-1516 • motormill.org
 
Iowa DNR – Guttenberg Fish Hatchery
331 S. River Park Dr., Guttenberg, IA 52052
563-252-1156 • iowadnr.gov
 
National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium & National Rivers Hall of Fame
350 E. 3rd St., Dubuque, IA 52001
800-226-3369 • rivermuseum.com
 
E.B. Lyons Interpretive Center/Mines of Spain Recreation Area
8991 Bellevue Heights Rd., Dubuque, IA 52003
563-556-0620 • minesofspain.org
 
Hurstville Interpretive Center
18670 63rd St., Maquoketa, IA 52060
563-652-3783 • mycountyparks.com
 
The Sawmill Museum
2231 Grant St., Clinton, IA 52732
563-242-0343 • thesawmillmuseum.org
 
Mississippi River Eco Tourism Center
3942 291st St., Camanche, IA 52730
563-259-0958 • mycountyparks.com
 
Buffalo Bill Museum & River Pilots Pier
199 N. Front St., Le Claire, IA 52753
563-289-5580 • buffalobillmuseumleclaire.com
 
Putnam Museum of History & Natural Science
1717 W. 12th St., Davenport, IA 52804
563-324-1933 • putnam.org
 
Nahant Marsh Education Center
4220 Wapello Ave., Davenport, IA 52802
563-323-3374 • nahantmarsh.org
 
Pine Creek Grist Mill
1884 Wildcat Den Rd., Muscatine, IA 52761
563-263-4337 • pinecreekgristmill.com
 
Muscatine History & Industry Center
117 W. 2nd St., Muscatine, IA 52761
563-263-1052 • muscatinehistory.org
 
Toolesboro Mounds & Museum
6568 Toolesboro Rd., Wapello, IA 52653
319-523-8381 • naturallylouisacounty.com/areas/toolesboro
 
Old Fort Madison
716 Riverview Dr., Ft. Madison, IA 52627
800-210-8687 • fortmadison-ia.com
 
George M. Verity Riverboat Museum
101 Mississippi Dr., Keokuk, IA 52632
319-524-4765 • geomverity.org
 

Wisconsin

Great River Road Visitor & Learning Center
200 Monroe St., Prescott, WI 54021
715-262-0104 • freedomparkwi.org
 
Riverside Museum
410 E. Veterans Memorial Dr., La Crosse, WI 54601
608-782-1980 • lchshistory.org
 
Villa Louis
521 N. Villa Louis Rd., Prairie du Chien, WI 53821
608-326-2721 • villalouis.wisconsinhistory.org
 
Fort Crawford Museum
717 S. Beaumont Rd., Prairie du Chien, WI 53821
608-326-6960 • fortcrawfordmuseum.com
 
Stonefield State Historic Site
12195 Hwy. VV, Cassville, WI 53806
608-725-5210 • stonefieldhistoricsite.org
 
Potosi Brewing Company
209 S. Main St., Potosi, WI 53820
608-763-4002 • potosibrewery.com
 

Illinois

Mississippi River Visitor Center
Lock and Dam 15
328 Rodman Ave., Rock Island, IL 61240
309-794-5338 • missriver.org
 
Black Hawk State Historic Site
1510 46th Ave., Rock Island, IL 61201
309-788-0177 • blackhawkpark.org
 
Villa Kathrine
532 Gardner Expressway, Quincy, IL 62301
217-224-3688 • villakathrine.org
 
Pere Marquette State Park
13112 Visitor Center Ln., Grafton, IL 62037
618-786-3323 • www.dnr.illinois.gov/Parks/Pages/PereMarquette.aspx
 
National Great Rivers Museum
2 Locks and Dam Way, Alton, IL 62002
877-462-6979 • meetingoftherivers.org
 
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
30 Ramey St., Collinsville, IL 62234
618-346-5160 • cahokiamounds.org
 
Fort de Chartres State Historic Site
1350 State Rte. 155, Prairie du Rocher, IL 62277
618-284-7230 • fortdechartres.us
 
Pierre Menard State Historic Site & Fort Kaskaskia
4230 Kaskaskia Rd., Ellis Grove, IL 62241
618-859-3031 • illinois.gov/ihpa
 
Cairo Custom House Museum
1400 Washington Ave., Cairo, IL 62914
618-734-9632
 

Missouri

Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum
120 N. Main St., Hannibal, MO 63401
573-221-9010 • marktwainmuseum.org
 
City of Clarksville Visitor Center
302 N. 2nd St., Clarksville, MO 63336
573-242-3132 clarksvillemo.us/visitorscenter.html
 
Howard & Joyce Wood Education & Visitor Center at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area
801 Strodtman Rd., St. Louis, MO 63138
314-877-6014 • mdc.mo.gov/regions/st-louis/columbia-bottom
 
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
(Gateway Arch & Old Courthouse)
11 N. 4th St., St. Louis, MO 63102
314-655-1700 • nps.gov/jeff
 
Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center
66 S. Main St., Sainte Genevieve, MO 63670
800-373-7007 • visitstegen.com
 
Trail of Tears State Park
429 Moccasin Springs Rd., Jackson, MO 63755
573-290-5268 • mostateparks.com/park/trail-tears-state-park
 
Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center
2289 County Park Dr., Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
573-290-5218 • mdc.mo.gov/areas/cnc/cape
 
Sikeston Depot Museum
116 W. Malone Ave., Sikeston, MO 63801
573-481-9967 • sikestondepotmuseum.com
 
New Madrid Historical Museum
1 S. Main St., New Madrid, MO 63869
573-748-5944 • newmadridmuseum.com
 

Arkansas

Mississippi County Historical & Genealogical Society Museum
209 W. Hale Ave., Osceola, AR 72370
870-281-7583 • mississippicountymuseum.com
 
Hampson Archeological Museum State Park
10 Lake Dr., Wilson, AR 72395
870-655-8622 • arkansasstateparks.com/hampsonmuseum
 
Parkin Archeological State Park
60 Hwy. 184 N., Parkin, AR 72373
870-755-2500 arkansasstateparks.com/parkinarcheological
 
Mississippi River State Park
2955 Hwy. 44, Marianna, AR 72360
870-295-4040 • arkansasstateparks.com/mississippiriver
 
Helena Museum of Phillips County
623 Pecan St., Helena, AR 72342
870-338-7790 • helenamuseum.com
 
Delta Cultural Center
141 Cherry St., Helena, AR 72342
870-338-4350 • deltaculturalcenter.com
 
Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge
57 S. CC Camp Rd., St. Charles, AR 72140
870-282-8200 • fws.gov/refuge/white_river
 
Arkansas Post National Memorial
1741 Old Post Rd., Gillett, AR 72055
870-548-2207 • nps.gov/arpo
 
Lake Chicot State Park
2542 Hwy. 257, Lake Village, AR 71653
870-265-5480 • arkansasstateparks.com/lakechicot
 
Lakeport Plantation
601 Hwy. 142, Lake Village, AR 71653
870-265-6031 • lakeport.astate.edu
 

Louisiana

Poverty Point World Heritage Site
6859 Hwy. 577, Pioneer, LA 71266
318-926-5492 • povertypoint.us
 
Port Hudson State Historic Site
236 Hwy. 61, Jackson, LA 70748
888-677-3400 • lastateparks.com
 
West Feliciana Historical Society Museum
11757 Ferdinand St., St. Francisville, LA 70775
800-789-4221 • stfrancisville.us
 
LSU Rural Life Museum & Windrush Gardens
4560 Essen Ln., Baton Rouge, LA 70898
225-765-2437 • rurallife.lsu.edu
 
Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site
57730 Main St., Plaquemine, LA 70764
225-687-7158 • lastateparks.com
 
The Historic New Orleans Collection
533 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130
504-523-4662 • hnoc.org
 
Louisiana State Museum
751 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA 70116
504-568-6968 • louisianastatemuseum.org
 
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve
419 Decatur St., New Orleans, LA 70130
504-589-2133 • nps.gov/jela
 

Kentucky

Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site
94 Green St., Wickliffe, KY 42087
270-335-3681 • parks.ky.gov/parks
 
Columbus-Belmont State Park
350 Park Rd., Columbus, KY 42032
270-677-2327 • parks.ky.gov/parks
 

Tennessee

Reelfoot Lake State Park
2595 State Rte. 21 E., Tiptonville, TN 38079
731-253-9652 • tnstateparks.com/parks/about/reelfoot-lake
 
Mississippi River Museum at Mud Island River Park
125 N. Front St., Memphis, TN 38103
800-507-6507 • mudisland.com/c-2-mud-island-river-park.aspx
 
C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa/T.O. Fuller State Park
1987 Indian Village Dr., Memphis, TN 38109
901-785-3160 • memphis.edu/chucalissa
 

Mississippi

Tunica RiverPark Museum
One RiverPark Dr., Tunica, MS 38664
866-517-4837 • tunicariverpark.com
 
Delta Blues Museum
1 Blues Alley, Clarksdale, MS 38614
662-627-6820 • deltabluesmuseum.org
 
Washington County Welcome Center & Museum of the Delta
River Road Queen Welcome Center
Hwy. 82 and Reed Rd., Greenville, MS 38704
662-332-2378 • visitmississippi.org
 
Lower Mississippi River Museum
910 Washington St.,Vicksburg, MS 39183
601-638-9900 • lmrm.org
 
Vicksburg National Military Park
3201 Clay St., Vicksburg, MS 39183
601-636-0583 • nps.gov/vick
 
Natchez Convention & Visitor Bureau
640 S. Canal St., Natchez, MS 39120
800-647-6724 • visitnatchez.org
 
Mississippi Welcome Center/Woodville Hospitality Station
853 U.S. Hwy 61 S., Woodville, MS 39669
601-888-4463 • visitmississippi.org

 

Map of the Great River Road