GO WITH THE FLOW
North America’s largest waterways are an overlooked asset. Launch your own low-stress, high-yield river adventure.
Upper Missouri River Breaks
Lewis and Clark come alive on 149 miles of designated Wild and Scenic River, with painted sandstone cliffs and knife-edge box canyons, highlighted by the 65mile White Cliffs section of this national monument. Ask Missouri River Outfitters (mroutfitters.com).
Lower Mississippi River
Live the classic Huck Finn dream with surprisingly still-wild overnight escapes like the 98-mile float from Memphis, TN, to Helena, AR, through hidden backwaters, wooded islands, and side channels to silent, sandy campsites. Load up with Quapaw Canoe Co., near the blues-country “Crossroads” in Clarksdale, MS (island63.com).
Paddle an off-theradar 51-mile section through the Hanford Reach National Monument, which protects the mighty Columbia’s last nontidal, free-flowing stretch—and plenty of wildlife, too—between Priest Rapids Dam and Richland, WA, where Northwest Paddleboarding can point you to legal campsites outside the monument (northwest paddleboarding.com).
For an overnight float with away-from-it-all feels, put in near Albany, NY, for a 30-mile trip to Germantown. This Greenway Water Trail section features gentle current and abundant bald eagles. Camp at Hudson River Islands State Park and outfit at Steiner’s Sports (steinerssports .com).