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Mississippi River in Illinois

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

We put our kayaks in at the access at Oakwood Bottoms below Murphysburo. The water was slow but the scenery was lovely as the leaves were turning colors.

We flushed out turkey vultures, heron and some ducks. At one point we were really scared at the site & sounds of about 20 Asian Carp jumping out of the water all at once. We just weren't expecting that.

It was fascinating to examine the skeleton of a dead gar fish that must have gotten tangled up in some brush along the shore. We saw dozens of turtles sunning themselves on logs.

We took out at Rattlesnake Ferry and the trip took about 4 hours not including the lunch break we took at some large boulders along the shore about half way down. It was a very pleasant run.


Access points were fine. Plenty of parking. No toilets. Nice ramps.




Take Rt 149 west of Murphysboro to Rt. 3 and turn left (south). At the sign for Oakwood Bottoms, turn left (east) and take this road all the way to the river access point. We left a 2nd car at Rattlesnake Ferry which can be reached by driving further south on Rt. 3 and taking the next left turn after the Oakwood Bottoms turn (Howardton). Again, take this road all the way to the river access.


We just used the Illinois Gazetteer book of regional maps.

Trip Details

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location