As representative for District 6 in St. Charles County, a large part of my district runs the length of the Mississippi River – there for all of us to marvel at its beauty, enjoy its attractions, and to take part in the recreational opportunities it has to offer. One of the best opportunities is boating, and as a boating enthusiast I know that spring and summer means it’s time for fun along the river! Here are a few ideas for places to go and things to do when planning your boating adventures in St. Charles County:
- St. Charles County’s Hideaway Harbor Park is along the river in Portage des Sioux. The 48-acre park features spectacular views of the river and the scenic Alton bluffs, two free public boat ramps to access the river, as well as a 12-acre lake with spacious fishing dock that is ADA accessible.
- Be sure to check out Riverside Landing, a new St. Charles County Park between Kampville Drive and Huster Road along the river, when it opens in late summer. Formerly the site of the privately-owned Riverside Harbor, the park will feature a boat ramp when it opens – but camping, a water play area, and more are in store in 2019. Read the County’s press release for additional information.
- Missouri conservation areas and parks near Hideaway Harbor and Riverside Landing allow for opportunities to bird and wildlife watch, as well as fish, hike, hunt, and take photos. These locations include Bolter Island, Dardenne Island, Dresser Island, the Edward “Ted” and Pat Jones – Confluence Point State Park, Mason Island and the West Alton Conservation Area. Check your river maps and search for these locations online to learn more.
- The Audubon Center at Riverlands in West Alton is located inside the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary. The center features an expansive view of the river and educational displays and activities. Visitors can see an ever-changing variety of 325 species of songbirds and waterfowl that live in or migrate through the area.
- Be sure to visit the various stores and marinas along your Mississippi River path. They appreciate your support, and your sales tax dollars benefit our communities! There are stopping places that can provide the necessities your boat needs as well as essentials like sunscreen and beverages. Several marinas even have food and musical entertainment!
While spring and summer are prime times of the year to enjoy the Mississippi River, boating season can run as long as you want. Fall and winter showcase the changing colors of the leaves and the migration of bald eagles. However you choose to explore the Mighty Mississippi, please remember to be safe and enjoy!