Big River Magazine
Explore the Upper Mississippi

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March-April 2019

Your subscription will start with the May-June 2019 issue. Big River is published six times a year.

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

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Back Issues

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Covering the Heart of the Driftless Area for 26 Years

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)

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


A Family Tree with Roots in the River — the Suiter family March-April 2018 By Sara Millhouse (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

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

Navarro Canoes

Wenonah Canoes


Bringing an Old Boat Back to Life— Carl Henry


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! By Roger Lacher, June 1994

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