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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-09-2016, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Great River Road info

Riding the entire Great River Road has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. Talking to an old friend the other day and we are planning on getting it done next summer. (I know, that a long way off but due to time and schedule it is the first chance we will both have to take 10-14 days off.)

Out very basic plan is to meet in Lake Itasca, MN and follow the GRR to Venice, LA. Criss-crossing the river to find the best roads and most interesting scenery, history, and interesting stops. The return trip is over to Birmingham to the Barber Motorsports Museum and back from there.

I am intimately familiar with the GRR from Minneapolis to Quad Cities area, so that's the easy part.

What I would like to ask is for anyone familiar with other sections of the road to offer suggestions on which side of the river to ride and any points of interest to check out. We are especially looking for things that will not be easily found on maps or google-fu.

Thanks for any help finding really hidden gems, neither of us is really big on the touristy/cliché places

08 Victory Vegas
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-10-2016, 12:52 AM
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Definitely ride the Illinois side from Hardin down through Alton. The bridge at Hardin raises and lowers. Mel's riverdock restaurant in Hardin has some great catfish and pies. On south by Grafton the river is right beside the road on the right heading south and on the left you will be able to see the "rolling bluffs". It is a beautiful ride. You might want to stop for some wine in Grafton. There are ferries across the river and they are fun. Finn Inn is a highly boasted unique restaurant but the food isn't all that great...IMHO. The tables are surrounded by an aquarium with large fish swimming by the whole time you're eating.

You may want to stop and take pictures of the Paisa bird. That is just north of Alton. On down at Chester, IL is the Popeye statue. South, just north of Cape Girardeau on the Missouri side there is a river overlook at the Trail of Tears State park.

You really might want to ride south on the Illinois side and back north on the Missouri side. There are things to see on both sides that are unique. Have fun!!!
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-10-2016, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Moni!
Exactly the kind of tidbits we're looking for. And the ferry is another good idea. I can't explain why, but there is something cool about putting the bike on a boat and crossing over water.

We discussed going down one side and up the other, but we would really like to get over to Birmingham on the way back. It all really depends on time we have. Hopefullly we can stitch together a route where we can see as much of the good stuff as possible.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-10-2016, 10:11 AM
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From Baton Rouge to New Orleans, you'll find a number of plantations you can tour, including Oak Alley.
After NOLA, near Buras is Fort Jackson.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, dwsonar.
Military history is pretty high on our interests. Fort Jackson is on the list now

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 04:48 PM
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http://www.greatriverroad.com/second...es/ferries.htm

Above is a link of the ferries. If you take the ferry to Brussells there is a restaurant we love to ride to. That ferry is free and we will take it over, eat and then take it back to the river road or cross another one back to Missouri and meander along back roads home. We are lucky that this portion of the river road is great for a day ride.

We eat at both Mel's Riverdock in Hardin and Wittmond in Brussells frequently. You order what you want at Mel's and Brussells is family style. It depends on what you are hungry for but it will be your fault if you leave either of those hungry.

http://www.wittmondhotel.com/history.html
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo6pak View Post
Thanks, dwsonar.
Military history is pretty high on our interests. Fort Jackson is on the list now
You can't miss it on the way to Venice. last time I was there, there was no office or gift shop or anything. Just go in and walk around.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the links to the ferry info, Moni. Some of my paper maps show a Mississippi river crossing at Hamburg, IL. But it's not showing on google maps or anywhere else. Maybe the line on those maps is for a lock and dam?

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