Big River Magazine
Explore the Upper Mississippi

January-February 2017

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Read stories from past issues of Big River

Spring Lake - A Legacy Lost and Found
By Denny Caneff
The author explores his heritage on the Mississippi. Nov-Dec 2016

Gray Shadow

By Kenny Salwey
Photos by Herb Lange

Nov-Dec 2016

Editorial: Dead, Dying and Poison Zones
Decades of voluntary agricultural programs and incentives have had little effect. By Reggie McLeod, Editor and Publisher of Big River

Making the River Safe to Drink (pdf)

From July-August 2016

Do you know where your drinking water comes from? Why do some cities draw water from the river and others dig wells? The cost of treating river water can be 10 times the cost of treating ground water.

Making river water safe to drink can be a complicated process. Its chemistry can change from hour to hour. Read more in our feature story. By Pamela Eyden

Coldwater Cave, May-June 2016
By Capt. Ted Peck

Editorial: Replacing an Aging Paradigm
Dams have unbalanced an environment that evolved for millions of years.
By Reggie McLeod, Editor and Publisher of Big River

2015 Mississippi River Paddlers
By John Sullivan

Roll Me to the River Jan-Feb 2016
Rig up a trailer on a fold-up bicycle and pedal your canoe to the river. By John Gabbert

The Big Campus: Augsburg's River Semester Nov-Dec 2015
The river was their classroom for three months.
By Ryan Johnson

Carp Poetry Winners - July-Aug 2015

Nighthawk Twilight - July-Aug 2015

12 Great Rivertown Gardens (pdf) - May-June 2015

River Pilgrims (pdf) by Anna Segner, from Nov-Dec 2014

Cardinal flowers on the Mississippi (pdf) by John Sullivan

January-February 2017

Covering the Heart of the Driftless Area for 24 Years

Order your new Big River Magazine subscription here. Your sub will start with the next issue. Big River is published six times a year.

Big River Sub

In This Issue

Stories you don't want to miss!

See Highlights for the Table of Contents

Waiting for the Julia Belle Swain — The hard, gritty, expensive work of rescuing one of the finest steam sternwheeler packet boats ever built is nearly finished.
By John Gabbert


Winter Fun — Skijoring, fat tires and winter festivals beckon you to go out and play in the cold and snow. Links and events
By Pamela Eyden


Navarro Canoe — Navarro canoes bridge the gap between tradition, beauty, durability and low maintenance.
By Ryan Johnson


The Last Calliope Builder By Emery Styron

Eagle Watches on the Mississippi

Read More from Big River

From September-October 2016: Effigy Mounds of the Wisconsin River Valley by Sara Millhouse. Also in PDF

Big River Travel MapDozens of scenic Mississippi overlooks and places to go.

Read Stories about the Upper Mississippi River from past issues of Big River Magazine.

See complete issues from 2006 and 2007 online (PDFs). Select issues here

Volunteer groups on the river - a nine-part series about non-profit groups making a difference on the Upper Mississippi

Check the weather forecast and river levels for Upper Mississippi River cities.

More on overlooks

River organizations

Links to Upper Mississippi Resources

Take a look back at our April Foolishness river stories.


River News

Back Issues

Quick Links

New River Products!
Swamp Stories
Kenny Salwey's CD

Poems inspired by Mississippi River overlooks

Buy Big River at these locations

Order single issues from Big River

See more on the Highlights page

Contact Big River

Contact Info

Subscriptions and renewals

Change of Address

Back Issues

Books and Products


Deck on Deck: Towboating in the Twin Cities by Capt. Bob Deck

What's it like to work on a towboat? Deck on Deck is a first-hand account of life on river towboats in the 1970s and 80s. These stories will entertain you as Bob Deck recalls his days as a deckhand on the Mississippi River.

Mississippi River guidebooks
By Dean Klinkenberg

Quad Cities Travel Guide

Lansing, Iowa, to Le Claire Travel Guide

Driftless Area Travel Guide

More info and ordering info.


Advertising Rates

Advertising Specifications

Live River Links

Weather forecast for Upper Mississippi cities

River levels on the Upper Mississippi

Towboat-watching resource: Boats in pools and queued in locks.

Facebook Page Mississippi River Paddlers - people paddling from Source to Sea