Upper Mississippi River Wildlife Refuge w/ Broken Paddle Guiding Co.



Access these three areas south of the Twin Cities with a plan and experience flat water river kayaking. Managing river currents and kayak re-entry skills are a must!

1- Pierce County Islands State Public Hunting Grounds

2- Nelson-Trevino Bottoms State Natural Area

3- Whitman Bottoms Floodplain Forest State Natural Area

There are not many people paddling these areas because it is difficult to access many of the water trails as they are unmarked.

This is the backwaters ecosystem of the Mississippi River. It is full of mega fauna and flora around every tight oxbow, meander and bend. Eagles, water mammals, reptiles, rare songbirds, waterfowl, secret beaches and more!

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Latitude: 44.146811 Longitude: -91.75428 Elevation: 653 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Richie Mann

Best Access Points

The Best Access Points for beginner, intermediate and even experienced paddler new to the river's area are with Broken Paddle Guiding Co. 


Broken Paddle Guiding is the premier Eco-tourism business on the Upper Mississippi River.

"The company is run by passionate people who love their jobs and it shows. From the booking of the event to the pick up process to the kayaking event itself - it was all top notch. The small guide to guest ratio makes for a personalized tour where you can really learn a lot and get to know the guides. 

Numerous up close eagle sightings, sunlight streaming filtered by green lush trees, and peaceful close banked exploration brought out the wonder in us all. Weaving through old snags and drooping tree branches and being up close and personal with the small details of this mighty river made this an adventure I'd highly recommend. Our guide's interest and passion for the area spiced his welcomed commentary. Having explored the waters all over the world I can say without a doubt that this was one of the best guided trips ever! This team really knows their stuff, super enthusiastic and fun-loving not to mention highly skilled and trained to provide the safest ride ever! No matter what your skill level may be..this is the trip for you. 

Unparalleled scenery, wildlife galore, eagles swooping over your head, beaver dens everywhere and tails slapping the water as you glide around the curves, deer sloshing their way through the wetland areas feet away from your kayak, muskrats crossing the river with mouths of vegetation and the list goes on and on! Ended with the sunset at our backs gliding down the mighty Mississippi - breathtaking! And the local organic meal-like granola bar snack...the best we've ever had. This trip is a MUST for anyone visiting the area. We will be back for sure!"

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