Outdoor & River-Based Adventure

Below, travelers along The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail will find sites and attractions on the Trail’s main river arteries where they can enjoy outdoor adventure while celebrating the 1803-1806 expedition. 

Missouri River Breaks in Montana

During Lewis and Clark’s 1803-1806 expedition to the west, the Corps of Discovery traveled on and along thousands of miles of river water, from the Ohio River all the way to the Columbia River out west. Floating these rivers were an essential mode for transportation for the sojourners, as they could pack their canoes full of gear and food for their long journeys ahead. Today these rivers still remain a critical part of the everyday lives of those who live along them.  These sites will help to remind travelers of the connection between past and present and how significant cultural and natural resources remain in everyday life.


Pennsylvania

Kayak Pittsburgh – North Shore 

Pittsburgh, PA – Kayak the rivers where Lewis and Clark began their journey across the United States. Located along the Allegheny River, visitors will get stunning views of the Pittsburgh skyline while kayaking. No experience is necessary and most beginners learn to kayak within 10-15 minutes. 

Point State Park

Pittsburgh, PA – Located at the tip of the city of Pittsburgh where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet to form the Ohio River, this is where Lewis and Clark first embarked on their journey. Enjoy views of the famous fountain that marks the rivers meeting point at the edge of the city.

Point State Park (Photo courtesy: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Point State Park (Photo courtesy: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

West Virginia

Wells Island Campground  Sistersville, WV – Wells Island campground offers a family friendly camping atmosphere in Sistersville, West Virginia. It allows pets and campfires and has both RV and tent camping sites available. This is the perfect stop to experience the great outdoors and fishing in the secluded nature that West Virginia has to offer. 

North Bend Outfitters Harrisville, WV – Situated along the banks of the North Fork Hughes River (a tributary to the Ohio River), North Bend Outfitters bicycles, kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, and even pontoon boats for rent where travelers can spend time exploring the waters of West Virginia.

North Bend Outfitters (Photo Courtesy: http://www.northbendoutfitters.com)
North Bend Outfitters (Photo Courtesy: http://www.northbendoutfitters.com)

Ohio

Krohn Conservatory  Cincinnati, OH – Built in 1933, Krohn Conservatory holds 5 unique floral shows each year. Their most popular, the Butterfly Show, can be seen mid-March through mid-June annually. Discover beautiful new plant species that you may have never seen before in stunning arrangements.

Fernbank Park Cincinnati, OH –  Fernbank Park is located along the Ohio River and features 2 hiking trails, a playground, and fishing access along the Ohio River. There are also reservable shelters and a lodge available for overnight guests. The park offers various organized recreational activities including biking, paddling, camping and disc golf.

Krohn Conservatory (photo courtesy: https://www.cincinnatiparks.com/)
Krohn Conservatory (photo courtesy: https://www.cincinnatiparks.com/)

Kentucky

River City Paddlesports Louisville, KY – With the breathtaking views of the Louisville skyline on one side and the beautiful views of Jeffersonville, Indiana on the other, River City Paddlesports is a great way to gain a new perspective of Kentucky’s City of the Original Slugger. River City Paddlesport’s mission is to expand community access to all paddle sports in the Greater Louisville area through education, outreach and competition. 

Nachand Canoe and Kayak Rentals Prospect, KY – Enjoy an outdoor kayaking/canoeing getaway experience with Nachand Canoe and Kayak Rentals. Located in Prospect Kentucky, Nachand rentals offers an abundance of experiences, from the calm waters of Harrods Creek, to the adventurous Ohio River for the more experienced kayakers and canoers. Nachand offers rentals from 4 to 8 hours, with options of Stand-Up Paddle Boards, Kayaks, and 3- person Canoes. 

 

     


Indiana

Falls of the Ohio State Park Clarksville, IN – Located in Clarksville Illinois, the Falls of the Ohio State Park offers a great outdoor exploration adventure. With the world’s most accessible Devonian-age fossil beds, and a breadth of bird species to see, the Falls of the Ohio State Park has many outdoor adventures to choose from. Other activities include boating, biking, fishing, hiking, and picnicking. Within this park you will also find the historic the George Rogers Clark homesite, represented by a 200-year-old log cabin. Explore the many different experiences of the Falls of the Ohio State Park.

Lewis and Clark Site: Falls of the River State Park
Falls of the River State Park

Illinois

Shawnee National Forest Shawneee, IL – Shawnee National Forest offers countless outdoor opportunities. Located in Herod, Illinois and spanning 415 square miles, there are an abundance activities and adventures to do within the national park. The landscape of the national forest includes woodlands, hills, lakes, beaches, and dunes. Some of the activities within Shawnee National Park are picnicking, camping, hiking, horseback riding, scenic driving, and fishing. 

Cache River State Natural Area Belknap, IL – Home to the Northernmost cypress-swamp in the America, Cache River State National Area is a site to behold. With over 100 endangered species living within the area, it is a prime location for hiking, boating, canoeing, fishing, and eagle/bird watching. Located in Belknap, Indiana Cache River State National Area was named one of America’s Top 10 Hidden Gems, according to enjoyillinois.com.

Cache River State Natural Area (photo courtesy: https://www.enjoyillinois.com/)
Cache River State Natural Area (photo courtesy: https://www.enjoyillinois.com/)

Missouri

Missouri River Excursions  Defiance, MO – Tour with Missouri River Excursions for a great way to experience the Lewis and Clark Trail through the same path the Corps of Discover took. Canoeing, kayaking, and rafting are all offered here along with several different trip lengths so that visitors can choose their own adventure.

Missouri River Rafting St. Joseph, MO – Missouri River Rafting offers guided raft tours on the Missouri River.  An experienced oarsman will guide your party of up to six passengers down 12 miles of the river.  Two trips are offered.  One, is a 12 mile float upstream from Saint Joseph Missouri.  The second, is a 14 mile float from Saint Joseph Missouri to Atchison Kansas.

Missouri River at twilight

Kansas

Zip KC Bonner Springs, KS – ZIP KC is an amazing way to take in the natural sites of Kansas. With 9 different ziplines spanning 5,800 feet, there is so much to see and experience at Zip KC. The location is ideal for an overlook view of the the bluffs of the Kansas River. Other activities include, Ninja Training Obstacle Course, Hiking and Ziplining tour, Night Flight Ziplining Tower Tour, and more. 

Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens Overland Park, KS – Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens contains 300 acres, filled with over 1,700 species of plants, as well as hiking trails, open prairies, and meticulously kept gardens. Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens also has multiple educational opportunities within various parts of the park. With trails leading to different ecosystems, varying from what typically seen in Kansas, and various themed gardens, the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is truly a cultural landmark to behold.

Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens (photo courtesy: https://www.opkansas.org/)
Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens (photo courtesy: https://www.opkansas.org/)

Iowa

Rubber Duck Outfitters  Hancock, IA – Located just outside the Omaha/Council Bluffs Metro Area, Rubber Duck Outfitters offer a variety of ways to float down the West Nishnabotna river. Tubing, tanking, canoeing, and kayaking are all offered here so that guests can choose their favorite method to get down the river.

Lewis and Clark Overlook Council Bluffs, IA – Just off I-29, this park offers a great view of the Omaha area. As the site of Lewis and Clark’s meeting with the Otoe-Missouria Tribe, this location is not only beautiful, but also holds historical significance. 

Lewis & Clark Overlook in Council Bluffs
Lewis & Clark Overlook in Council Bluffs

Nebraska

Elkhorn Outfitters Elkhorn, NE – A great way to experience one of the Missouri River’s tributaries, Elkhorn Outfitters helps visitors you feel like they are miles from the city. This is the perfect trip to relax and have fun. 

Fontenelle Forest Bellevue, NE – Located only a few minutes from downtown Omaha, this forest feels worlds a part from the city. A network of trails provide an excellent opportunity to overlook the Missouri River. With family-friendly activities including the new adventure park, Fontenelle Forest is a great way to experience nature.

Tubing on the Elkhorn River (photo courtesy: https://www.elkhornoutfitters.co)
Tubing on the Elkhorn River (photo courtesy: https://www.elkhornoutfitters.co)

South Dakota

Missouri River Rafting and Campground Gayville, SD – A great way to experience the Missouri River, Missouri River Rafting and Campground offers trips down the river, camping options, and fishing opportunities. Take a trip down the Missouri River and  feel what it was like for the Corps of Discovery over 200 years ago.

Missouri National Recreation River Yankton, SD — A 100-mile stretch of the Missouri River preserved as a national park, you can spend anywhere from a few minutes to several days exploring this park. Spanning two states, this park gives visitors an look at both the natural and cultural history of the Missouri River. A fish hatchery, numerous hiking trails, river rafting are some of the activities offered here. 

Missouri National Recreational River (photo courtesy: nps.org)
Missouri National Recreational River (photo courtesy: nps.org)

North Dakota

Lewis and Clark Riverboat Bismarck, ND – The Lewis and Clark Riverboat is a tradition of Missouri River steamboats at the port of Bismarck. The boats are available for tours along the river with sites of the town and nature surrounding the water. Tours last approximately an hour and a half and times may vary in different seasons.

Lewis and Clark Riverboat (photo courtesy: https://www.lewisandclarkriverboat.com)
Lewis and Clark Riverboat (photo courtesy: https://www.lewisandclarkriverboat.com)

Montana

Gates of the Mountains Boat Tour Helena, MT – Located in the heart of Montana’s Big Sky Country, Gates of the Mountains open-top boat tours offer visitors a unique way to experience some of the region’s most breathtaking beauty. The two-hour tour meanders down the timeless Missouri River, passing through towering limestone cliffs, past bighorn sheep and bald eagles, and alongside beavers, mountain lions, and black bears. 

Missoulian Angler Fly Shop Missoula, MT – One of the oldest fishing outfitters in Missoula, The Missoulian Angler Fly Shop offers tours and excursions on The Big Blackfoot, Rock Creek, the Bitterroot and the Clark Fork Rivers, all of which form the backbone of Missoula’s legendary fly fishing community.

Gates of the Mountains Boat Tour
Gates of the Mountains Boat Tour

Idaho

Rafting the Riverbeds of the Nez Perce Riggings, ID – Join native Nimiipuu guides on a once-in-a-lifetime rafting journey through the heart of indigenous Nez Perce country. Offering cultural history, stunning scenery, and exciting whitewater, Rafting the Riverbeds is a unique experience for lovers of history and the outdoors alike.

Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural & Educational Center Salmon, ID – Whether it’s weaving cattail baskets at The Outdoor School, learning about native tribes at The Interpretive Center, or attending live concerts at The Meriwether Theatre, The Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural & Educational Center serves as a breathtaking setting for visitors to immerse themselves in the full experience of the Lewis and Clark Trail.

Rafting the Riverbeds of the Nez Perce
Rafting the Riverbeds of the Nez Perce

Oregon

Columbia River Gorge Visitor Guides Hood River, OR— Holding claim as the largest national scenic area in the United States, the Columbia River Gorge is a marvel to behold. Home to the famous Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens, Columbia River Gorge offers some of the best backcountry hiking in the region. With a vast range of exciting outdoor adventure opportunities, visitors can plan a day-long scenic drive or even overnight kayaking and biking trips. 

Lewis and Clark sites aplenty in the Columbia River Gorge
Columbia River Gorge

Washington

Zoller’s Outdoor Odysseys White Salmon, WA — Offering Washington’s best whitewater rafting, Zoller’s Outdoor Odysseys will provide the ultimate unforgettable rafting experience. From guide school for beginners to Class 4 rapids with waterfalls, Zoller’s professional guides will make sure you have a safe, exhilarating time no matter your skill level.

Dickey’s Farm Store Bingen, WA — As local as it gets: Dickey’s Family Farm has been providing the Columbia Gorge area with fresh fruit and vegetables for over 150 years. Stop by the store to grab some hand-grown veggies, hand-picked fruits, and hand-made treats!

Zoller's Outdoor Odysseys
Zoller’s Outdoor Odysseys