Mileage Maps and Float Plans


One of the hardest aspects of planning the trip is creating the “float plan.” That’s the day-to-day plan of where I’ll be, how far I’m paddling and where I’m camping for the night.

On a 90-day journey, that’s almost impossible to do with precision, but because I’m visiting Rotary Clubs and ShelterBox Ambassadors and meeting up with friends and family along the way, I am trying to come up with at least a weekly checkpoint.

What happens during that week may be flexible depending on weather, river conditions or unexpected circumstances. After all, this is an adventure!

If I have a presentation on Tuesday and weather has caused me to slow down on Sunday, that means I’ll have a long day of paddling Monday. If I’m feeling good and cruise past a campsite to the next day’s stop, that means I may have an extra day of relaxing in a cool river town.

My target is between 15-30 miles a day.

So, here’s where I start building my float plan. This is a map of every mile of the Mississippi. These coordinates are supplied by the Army Corps of Engineers, and thanks to John Sullivan who posted them on the fb page Mississippi River Paddlers, we could plug the coordinates into Google Maps.

If you have suggestions or advice for me, let me know in the comments!

Click on the map and zoom in to see mile-by-mile anywhere along the river.

Here’s a bit of trivia for you: the official miles start at “1365” at the Headwaters and continue to shrink numerically for the portion of the Upper Mississippi until it reaches “1.” Then you’ve reached the Lower Mississippi and the mile count starts at 950 and continues backwards again to “0”. Then some people (including me) continue on out into the Gulf starting at mile “13” until you are finally (!) at mile 0. The REAL mile zero! Check it out on the map.

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