Great River Road


In Illinois on the Great River Road
On the Great River Road in Illinois
Great River Road map
Great River Road map

The Great River Road is a 2,069-mile route that runs north-south on both sides of the Mississippi River from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way the route passes through ten states: Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Wisconsin. The Great river Road is not a single route but a designated scenic byway that passes over many federal, state, county and municipal roads and streets. In some areas it shares the route with other scenic byways.

As an idea, the Great River Road was born in 1936. Signage along what became the designated route started to appear in the late 1950's and Congress finally began funding recommended improvements along the route in 1973. By 1982 more than $310 million went into upgrading the infrastructure of the Great River Road. There was also a time when extensions of the route fed into Ontario and Manitoba.

Attractions along the Great River Road

Oak alley Plantation in Louisiana
A foggy morning at Oak Alley Plantation in Louisiana
Vicksburg's Old Courthouse Museum
The Old Courthouse Museum in Vicksburg
Upper photo courtesy of Wikipedia userid Kbh3rd, CCA-by-SA 3.0 License
Other photos and maps are in the public domain