This leg of your journey is 219 miles to Cairo at the junction of the Ohio River and the Lower Mississippi. From Cairo, you
will take the Ohio River to the Tennessee or Cumberland rivers, on your way to the Tennessee-Tombigbee route to Mobile Bay.
The fuel range required for this leg of your journey is 250 miles. You will have to make it from Hoppies Marina to either the
Kentucky Dam Marina (mile 22) or Green Turtle Bay Marina (mile 25) on the Tennessee river.
Cairo is your decision point. If you
haven't made up your mind to take the
Tennessee-Tombigbee by the time you
reach Cairo, well, the river's current may
make it up for you. So be careful and be
   Cairo is where you will head up the
Ohio RIver for a brief 50 miles to the
Tennessee River at Paduckah, or keep
going south on the Lower Mississippi
toward New Orleans.
"The Water World of America's Heartland"
( Why cruising the Great Loop is much-much more than just a great loop. )
The Mississippi River:
   For most Loopers, the Mississippi
River starts in Grafton, IL., and ends
at Cairo.
   While Grafton is Mile 0 on the
Illinois River it is Mile 219 on the
Upper Mississippi River.

   Since Cairo is the dividing point, it
is Mile 954 on the Lower Mississippi
River and Mile 0 on the Upper
Mississippi. (Got that?)
   Therefore Cairo is 954 miles to
the Gulf and Grafton is (954 + 219)
or 1,173 miles from the Gulf of
Mexico. It is 1,080 to Harvey Lock at
the Gulf ICW...
Mississippi River
at Cairo
Your next stop will be Hoppie’s Marina in Kimmswick, Missouri, and this is a must stop.  It is
250 miles from Hoppies to Kentucky Dam Marina or Green Turtle Bay Marina
(your nearest fuel
stops) on the Tenn-Tom route.
The Upper Mississippi:
The next big city from Grafton is St. Louis, Missouri, and surprisingly there are not many
Marinas or good anchorage options in the St Louis area.
From Hoppies, and for the next 158 miles or so,   you will discover wingdams.  Wingdams
extend and direct the river's flow toward the center of the river. The USACE has built over 1,000
wing dams on the upper Mississippi River and on the Illinois Waterway.  If the river is a little high,
you may not see them. If you know what to look for, wing dams can be recognized by the ripples
on the surface of the water. If you take the Tenn-Tom Route, your next stop will most likely be
either Kentucky Lake Damn Marina on Kentucky Lake or Green Turtle Marina on Cumberland
At Cairo, you can take the Ohio river route straight to the Tennessee river at the Kentucky
Lock and Dam, or you can continue another 12 miles up the Ohio, and take the Cumberland
river route. Both these routes will end up at the same place near the Green Turtle Marina. Or. .
. you can head on down river, and take the Lower Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.
You will enter the Chain of Rocks canal at Mile
marker 194.1. Do not continue down the river.
The canal takes you safely past the hazardous chain of rocks
reach of the Mississippi River.  It ends at Mile marker 184,
experience the hardest and fastest current of your entire
voyage. In fact, you will race past the St Louis Arch.
St. Louis
Gateway Arch
You will cruise by the St Louis Arch
on your way between Alton Marina and
Hoppies Marina.
Kidd River Fuel:
This is a diesel fuel stop in Cape
Girardeau, Missouri at Mile Marker

Kidd River delivers fuel by truck and
no longer sells gasoline. They also
require a 24 hour notice for diesel
fuel deliveries. They deliver fuel to
a floating dock along the river bank.
There are no services of any kind.
Wing Dams: locations
are marked on your charts
and GPS system. Going down
the rivers, it is important to
know what these are, where
they are, and how to identify
Alton Marina
Mile 202 UMR

Hoppies Marina
Mile 158.5
(a mandatory fuel stop)
Your next fuel stops from Hoppies
on the Tennessee - Tombigbee
route are 250 miles away.

They are Kentucky Dam Marina,
(Mile marker 22) and Green Turtle
Bay Marina (Mile marker 25) on the
Tennessee river.

A NEW Marina and fuel stop is
scheduled to open in  2017 in
Paducah. However, this will still
leave you with a 220 miles from
Hoppies Marina to get fuel.
Diversion Canal just below Cape
Girardeau, Mo. makes a great
over-night anchorage. Once inside
you're rewarded with a quiet stream
and a safe place to anchor.
I can't go 450 miles without fuel -
So take me to the
I have the fuel range. . .
Take me to NEW ORLEANS
on the Lower Mississippi River
Understanding the Mile Markers on Mississippi River.
::   The Great Lakes   ::
::   The Atlantic IntraCoastal Waterway   ::
::   The Great Loop Route   ::
"Bring Your Own Boat"
and take the voyage of a lifetime
America's Great Loop
Cruising the "Upper" Mississippi River
The USACE (Army Corp of Engineers) has divided the Mississippi River into two halves. The
Upper Mississippi is one half, and the Lower Mississippi is the other. Cairo is the dividing point.
      The Mississippi River's mouth is located 95 miles south of New Orleans at the Gulf of
Mexico. From this point, distances on the Mississippi River are measured in statute miles. The
mouth, or "Head of Passes" as it is referred to, is the point from which all mileage on the
Mississippi River is measured.
      Cairo, Illinois, is at Mile Maker 954 on the Lower Mississippi. That means it is 954 miles
from the Gulf of Mexico. It is also the
end of the Lower Mississippi River; and the beginning of the
Upper Mississippi. Therefore Cairo is also Mile 0 (zero) on the Upper Mississippi River. All
Mississippi River miles
above Cairo give you the distance from Cairo. All miles below Cairo give
you the distance to the Gulf of Mexico (95 miles beyond New Orleans).
      For Great Loopers, the Mississippi starts at Grafton, IL where the Illinois River joins the
Upper Mississippi at Mile 219. Grafton of course, is Mile 219 on the Upper Mississippi. To
determine Grafton's distance from the Gulf of Mexico, simply take Grafton Mississippi mile marker
219 (the distance north from Cairo) and add it to the Cairo Mile Marker 954, and you get the
distance (219 + 954 = 1,173).  Grafton is therefore 1,173 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. So your
voyage to New Orleans from Grafton is 1,078 miles.   (Got all that, did ya?)
Grafton Marina is a great stopover. Newer facilities, great shower &
restroom, laundry facilites & of course, Docks. Also restaurant.
St. Louis' Gateway Arch on the mighty Mississippi River