Best scenic overlooks to view the Mighty Mississippi

Experience the Mississippi River for yourself.

The Mississippi River is a mighty force that flows through the Heartland.

Along the Great River Road, you'll find several places to take it all in.

Here are six of our favorite stops that promise sweeping views.

Trail of Tears State Park

Trail of Tears State Park

Peewah Trail explores Indian Creek Wild Area, a 1,300-acre area located in one of the most rugged areas of the Mississippi River hills.

Visitors can follow this trail into one of the most remote parts of the park. Trust us, you’ll experience a sense of solitude. The east loop takes you along the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. A short spur leads to an overlook of the Mississippi River for a 1.5-mile round trip from the main trailhead to the overlook.

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inspiration point

Inspiration Point

Hikers say Inspiration Point Trail offers great views of the southern Illinois wetlands that you can’t experience anywhere else.

Located near Wolf Lake, IL, the trail is an easy 0.8 mile hike. It offers a panoramic view of the Mississippi River valley and the Big Muddy bottomlands.

Keep your eyes peeled, you will likely see some wildlife.

old mississippi river bridge

Old Mississippi River Bridge

When the bridge was completed, in the summer of 1928, it was hailed as “The Gateway to the Ozarks.” The bridge provided a vital link between Missouri and Illinois. It has since been torn down and what’s left has been turned into a perfect place to view the Mississippi River and the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge. You may even want to picnic along River Campus Trail, a leisurely walkway along these historic River Campus grounds, bordering the river.

Cape Rock Park
Source: City of Cape Girardeau

Cape Rock Park

Travel back in time. This park was the original trading post established by Ensign Girardot, for whom the city is named. Located in the northeast part of the city on North Cape Rock Drive, the park contains 21.3 acres and offers a breathtaking view of the Mississippi River.

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Tower Rock

Tower Rock

Tower Rock is a natural island that sits in the middle of the Mississippi River  between Perry County, Missouri and Grand Tower, Illinois. It was formed some 400 million years ago. Now, it stands about 60 feet above the average river level. While some say it’s haunted, it’s also a perfect place to view the Mighty Mississippi. A hiking trail leads you to a great place to snap a picture of the historic formation. Tower Rock Conservation Area even has a few picnic tables where you can sit to eat right by the river.

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Mississippi River Walk

Only three minutes off Interstate-55, the Mississippi River Walk and Observation Deck offer beautiful panoramic views of the greatest waterway in North America. Enjoy a leisurely 1/5 mile walk from the Riverside Park to the Observation Deck.  You can take it all in from one of several observation benches along the way. Here you can see eight miles of the river as it winds around the New Madrid Bend, a point of strategic significance during the Civil War. The River Walk is handicapped accessible and is open daily at all hours.

Side note: some argue this maybe southeast Missouri’s most haunted town. CLICK HERE to read more.

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Parts of the Mighty Mississippi are even considered haunted.
CLICK HERE for the story of Tower Rock.