Big River Magazine
Explore the Upper Mississippi

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January-February 2018

If you missed publisher Reggie McLeod on WPR's Larry Meiller Show, you can listen or download it online here.

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Covering the Heart of the Driftless Area for 25 Years

Subscribe to Big River

Order your new Big River Magazine subscription here. Your sub will start with the March-April 2018 issue. Big River is published six times a year.

Current Issue — January-February 2018

Among the Stories:

Chasing Winter Trout

A Cold Harvest — Ice For Sale

Julia Belle Hits a Snag


Packing for the Big Paddle

Urban Pirates

Fixing a Feast Outdoors

Rental Kayaks in the Twin Cities

Read our first issues from 1993



Read these excellent stories from past issues!


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

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

Outdoor Fun

Climbing the River Bluffs (pdf) March-April 2017
The Mississippi River valley could be the best sport-climbing spot in the Midwest.
By Pamela Eyden
Climbing Links

Paddling Odysseys of 2016 March-April 2017 (pdf)

Paddling Odysseys of 2015 Jan-Feb 2016 (pdf)

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. (pdf) The river was a classroom for three months. By Ryan Johnson

Making New Wine in an Old River Valley

Special Places

Nature Reawakens at Nahant Marsh July-August 2017 By Emery Styron

Restoring Driftless Area Prairies May-June 2017 By Pamela Eyden (also in PDF)

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

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


Waiting for the Julia Belle Swain (pdf)
The hard, gritty, expensive work of rescuing one of the finest steam sternwheeler packet boats ever built is nearly finished. Jan-Feb 2017 By John Gabbert

Boathouses on the Black River Nov-Dec 2017 By John Elliott (pdf)

Preparing for a Long River Cruise Jan-Feb 2008 By Capt. Larry Martin (pdf)

Navarro Canoes

Wenonah Canoes


Bringing an Old Boat Back to Life January-February 2015 Carl Henry


Bears Among Us November-December 2017 By Pamela Eyden (pdf)

The Plight of the Bumble Bees May-June 2017 By Joan Schnabel

Gray Shadow
Nov-Dec 2016
By Kenny Salwey
Photos by Herb Lange

Nighthawk Twilight July-Aug 2015 By Molly McGuire

An Otter Kind of Critter By Roger Lacher

Snapper! June 1994 By Roger Lacher

Carp -- Queen of the River or Pig with Fins? November 1993 By Pamela Eyden,

See more at Archives