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MDC to offer rides on Mississippi

Visitors to Day on the River 2022 get a rare view of the Cape Girardeau riverfront mural from the vantage point of Big Muddy, the Mississippi. (Sarah Haas)

MDC offers boat rides, crafts, animal encounters and fishing tips on Sept. 16 on the Mississippi River

Missouri State Parks

Ever wondered what it’s like to boat on the Mighty Mississippi? Visitors to Cape Girardeau will get their chance.

Missouri Department of Conservation’s Day on the River will take place Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Riverfront Park in downtown Cape Girardeau.

The underside of the Emerson Bridge in Cape Girardeau is viewed from a boat piloted by a Missouri Department of Conservation agent on the Mississippi River during the 2022 Day on the River. (Sarah Haas)

This family-friendly event provides an opportunity to see the Mississippi River from a new perspective and offers a variety of experiences to increase your knowledge of this amazing resource.

Even with the Mississippi River in our own backyard, many of us do not take the time to get out and enjoy it. Often the river does not even cross our minds until it reaches flood stage or when we drive over it to get to Illinois, but the river is so much more.

The river and its surrounding wetlands provide a habitat for a diverse group of wildlife which gives nature lovers ample opportunities to view Missouri’s wild inhabitants. The river can supply a variety of fishing experiences, from setting trotlines for catfish to bowfishing for invasive carp.

The Mississippi River serves as a flyway for hundreds of migratory birds, and birders flock to the river each season to see a diverse group of feathered fliers. The darting, quick flight of the interior least tern graces the skies during the summer months as they raise their young on the sand bars of the Mississippi River. Fall and spring bring rafts of pelicans, skeins of snow geese, and bouquets of warblers.

Taking a relaxing stroll next to the river offers both physical and mental benefits.

In real life, one might not want to get this close to a snapping turtle, but at Day on the River in Cape Girardeau in 2022, visitors got to get a close-up look. This year’s Day on the River is Sept. 16, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the riverfront. (Sarah Haas)

Find out how you can connect to the river by participating in this year’s Day on the River. The free activities include boat rides guided by conservation professionals, a self-guided river trivia walk, live aquatic animal displays, kids’ crafts, and a casting range. Boat rides will be on a first-come, first-served basis, so early arrival is suggested for those hoping to go out on the river.

The last boat ride will depart at 1:30 p.m.


  1. James Ballew on August 29, 2023 at 3:03 pm

    Just got back to Missouri after 40 Ca. Looking forward to it
    James Ballew

  2. Garland Poe on August 29, 2023 at 9:17 pm

    I would like to do this. I guess it’s first come first served on the boat rides?

    • Sarah Haas on August 30, 2023 at 4:17 am

      It is. They have life jackets on hand. Everyone must wear one.

  3. LeAnn on August 29, 2023 at 9:39 pm

    Are the boat rides handicapped accessible?

    • Sarah Haas on August 30, 2023 at 4:15 am

      Not quite sure about that, but it seemed they were intent last year to get everyone on the boat.

  4. Michelle on August 30, 2023 at 6:27 am

    Hi. Where do we go for the boat ride?

    • Sarah Haas on August 30, 2023 at 11:02 am

      It’s on the riverfront in Cape Girardeau, in the original commercial district. Riverfront Bridge Park, Morgan Oak St, Cape Girardeau, MO 63703

    • Joseph Merkler on August 30, 2023 at 1:13 pm

      Well there be any information, on the rise, of the Alligator populations in the Diversion channel, and other tributaries, along the main Mississippi River Channel?

  5. Mandy Johnson on August 30, 2023 at 8:39 am

    Where can I get more information; cost, directions, etc?

    • Sarah Haas on August 30, 2023 at 11:03 am

      According to the article, there’s no cost. The driving address is: Riverfront Bridge Park, Morgan Oak St., Cape Girardeau, MO 63703

  6. Rhonda Haseker on August 31, 2023 at 10:21 am

    Would love to take part in this day.
    Please email me all the in and out details of all going on. Cost per person also. Thanks.!!

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