DAV of Minnesota Foundation

Looking for adventure in the heart of the Twin Cities? Explore the mighty Mississippi River up close and personal on a guided canoe trip. Paddling the Mississippi in one of our beautiful 24-foot cedar strip canoes is easy, fun, and affordable–everyone enjoys it. These popular adventures take place in our local national park – the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA). You will discover wildlife and experience the amazing human history of the river.


Day 1: Choose from one of our three routes for a 2–3-hour paddle on the Mississippi River.

You will paddle one of three routes that are chosen depending upon water levels and other environmental factors. Click on the trip links below to see the route options. Each route takes 2-3 hours. We will send you detailed instructions on your route when you register. Upper Route: Brooklyn Park to Boom Island Middle Route: East River Flats to Sand Flats Lower Route: Hidden Falls to Harriet Island.

What to Expect

You will be paddling in 24-foot North canoes, following the river’s 3-4 mph current as it winds along the shoreline. The canoes hold 6-9 paddlers and 1 boat captain. They are fast and stable boats, designed specifically for trips on big or moving water. Paddling distance ranges from 4-8 miles, depending upon the route we do. It is an active paddle, but not strenuous.

Pack a snack and a personal water bottle, water refills are available as needed. Wilderness Inquiry provides a shuttle to bring you back to your car after the trip is over. Detailed instructions on your route and where to meet will be sent upon confirmation of your participation.

The trip will start with paddling and safety instruction provided by Wilderness Inquiry staff. There will be a trained boat captain in the stern (back) of each canoe to ensure a safe and fun trip for everyone. National Park Service Rangers accompany us on selected trips to provide cultural and natural history interpretation.

Groups consist of up to 54 participants, plus Wilderness Inquiry and National Park Service staff and volunteers. Temperatures can vary greatly throughout the season. A suggested packing list will be sent upon confirmation of your participation in the event.

There are bathroom facilities at the put-in and take out places. Your group will stop prior to departing and again upon completion of the trip.

Transportation: Veterans will park personal vehicles at Harriet Island and Wilderness Inquiry will provide a shuttle bus to the starting location (Hidden Falls) at the beginning of the trip.

What is the minimum age for a Mississippi River Day Canoe Trip?

There is no hard age limit, but we recommend the event for ages 5 and older. All participants must be able to wear a PFD (personal floatation device). All children must be 30 lbs or greater to fit into a PFD provided by Wilderness Inquiry. You must supply a PFD for any smaller children. Participants can plan to be in the canoes for at least one hour at a time and should be comfortable sitting still for this length of time.

Packing List. We recommend the following gear to help ensure your paddle is safe and enjoyable.

  • Rain Jacket (ponchos are acceptable)
  • Jacket or Sweater
  • Shoes you are willing to get dirty
  • Water bottle
  • Baseball cap or other brimmed hat to protect you from the sun
  • Small day-pack
  • Sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses
  • Camera

**If you choose to bring cell phones or other electronic devices, consider putting them in a plastic bag to keep dry.

Each Person attending MUST fill out an Application

Mississippi River Day Trip Family Paddle
Name of Veteran you are attending with.
Name of Veteran you are attending with.
Do you have the ability to get transportation to/from the event?

Optional Information

What is your race?