The Great River Road

The Great River Road – The Best Drive in America

The Great River Road National Scenic Byway follows the course of the Mississippi River for 3,000 miles from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. The scenic route passes through 10 states and hundreds of river towns. The Great River Road is arguably the longest and most important scenic byway in America.

The Drive It takes about 36 hours of straight driving to travel from north to south along the byway. Most people take four to 10 days to make the journey.

Pilot’s Wheel Road Signs

The Great River Road is a well-marked series of different roads and highways that roughly follow the winding course of the Mississippi River. All along the Great River Road, travelers will find white signs displaying the green pilot’s wheel logo. The familiar pilot’s wheel symbol denotes which roads are part of the designated route. The route has been selected for its natural, cultural, historical, recreational and scenic properties.

America’s Byways – National Scenic Byway Designation

The Great River Road is designated as a National Scenic Byway. This federal designation recognizes the Great River Road’s outstanding assets in the areas of culture, history, nature, recreation and scenic beauty. All along the Great River Road National Scenic Byway, you’ll find tourism amenities as well Interpretive Centers that help travelers experience the many facets of Mississippi River Region.

Mississippi River Parkway Commission

The Mississippi River Parkway Commission (MRPC) works to promote travel to the Mississippi River, Great River Road National Scenic Byway and the surrounding ten states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. The commission is a 10-state organization that was established in 1938 to work collectively to preserve, promote, and enhance the scenic, historic, and recreational assets of the Great River Road National Scenic Byway. The MRPC works to foster economic growth in the corridor and develop the Great River Road. For decades, the volunteers of the MRPC have coordinated efforts on federal, state, and local levels to leverage millions of dollars for highway improvements, recreation trails, bikeways, scenic overlooks, and historic preservation. The MRPC works collaboratively with Mississippi River Country, USA to coordinate both domestic and international marketing for the river valley, and facilitates efforts to enhance economic development and resource awareness.


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Great River Road

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Contact Information

MRPC Office
701 E. Washington Ave. Ste. 202
Madison, WI 53703 US
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