Since the routes included in the Trail User Guide hug the Mississippi, we use mile markers published in the US Army Corps of Engineers' Upper Mississippi River Navigation Maps to help with planning your trip. It may seem a bit odd that the mile marker at Ford Parkway Bridge is 847.8, but there is some logic working here. The US Army Corps of Engineers' Upper Mississippi River Navigation Maps lists Mile 0 at the confluence of the Mississippi and the Ohio Rivers near Cairo, Illinois. As one travels upstream, the numbers increase until the last listed mile of the navigation map at mile 855 near Coon Rapids, Mn.
River miles are published as an aid to people using the river for commerce, recreation and emergency services. The very nature of rivers is that they meander over the land and rarely cover distance in a straight line. For example, the straight line distance between Minneapolis and St. Paul is about 10 miles. By river, the distance is close to 16 miles.
Back to Mississippi River Trail Guide