Activities and Attractions
in the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway Area
Biking, Hiking, and Walking
A variety of opportunities can be taken advantage by visitors to the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway region including the Vadalabene Bike Trail, The Confluence Bikeway, and hiking at Pere Marquette State Park and the Nature Institute’s Olin Preserve.
The wine scene in the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway is centered on the river town of Grafton. Visitors can choose from patios or decks at riverside wineries or take a trip up to the tops of the bluffs overlooking the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. The tasting room at Pere Marquette Lodge is the perfect atmosphere to enjoy the wines of Mary Michelle Winery. Wine connoisseurs won’t be able to find a more scenic place to savor Illinois wines.
Orchards and Farmers Markets
The abundance of local orchards, pick your own operations, roadside stands, and local farmers' markets of the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway region provide fruits and vegetables have traveled less than 50 miles or might have been grown on the spot. The first fruits make their appearance in mid June. Apples and pumpkins are available into October.
Ferries of the Middle Mississippi River Valley
There are 6 ferries, 2 free and 4 toll, that cross the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers in the Middle Mississippi River Valley. Two free ferries connect Jersey and Calhoun counties in Illinois. Two toll ferries connect Saint Charles County, Missouri with Jersey and Calhoun counties in Illinois. One ferry provides service between Ste. Genevieve, Missouri and Randolph County, Illinois and another connects Mississippi County, Missouri with Hickman, Kentucky.
Although the area is best known as a winter haven for the Bald Eagle, the area is rich in diversity of birds with approximately 300 species having been sighted in the area. There are a number of premier bird watching sites in the area including Pere Marquette State Park, the Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge, Riverlands Environmental Demonstration, the Olin Nature Preserve and the Watershed Nature Center.
Alton Lake just above Melvin Price Locks and Dam offers an abundance of recreational areas opportunities so that hunters, fishermen, boaters, birdwatchers, and picnickers can enjoy the beauty of the area. No matter what your favorite outdoor activity is, you'll find what you’re looking for on the Mighty Mississippi River.