Plan Your Stay

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Cruising the Mighty Mississippi

The Mississippi River is one of the longest and the primary river in the second largest drainage system in North America. It helps drain 32 states as well as two provinces in Canada, and Chestnut Mountain Resort is lucky enough to border this mighty river. Throughout the summer, this fresh-water source is the perfect alternative for your desired beach or lake days, and there are several ways that you can enjoy it.

Slide, Ride, and River Cruise

Take an afternoon cruise on the Mississippi River departing from Chestnut Mountain Resort. For $30 and an hour and a half of your time, you will be able to experience the mighty Mississippi while learning about the area’s history, seeing geographical curiosities and getting a glimpse of the breathtaking riverscapes. Each cruise also includes a ride on the Alpine Slide and a Scenic Chair Ride to take you to and from the departure area. The cruises are available Fridays at 6:00 p.m. or Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.

Riverboat Twilight

If you want a longer time on the river, head across the river and hop on the Riverboat Twilight! They offer 1-day cruises that depart from Dubuque, IA or 2-day cruises that depart from LeClaire, IA. The 2-day cruise includes all meals, a night of lodging, entry into the National Mississippi River Museum and entertainment while on board. The cruises depart each Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 8 a.m. beginning May 28 until October 22. The 2-day cruise takes you from LeClaire to Dubuque and back. The 1-day cruise takes you from Dubuque to Guttenberg and includes a continental breakfast, 2 snacks, a full lunch and historical narration. These cruises happen August 30-31, September 1-2 and October 25-27.

DIY River Exploration

If you’re more of a human-powered boat enthusiast, Fever River Outfitters offers canoe, kayak, and paddle board rentals. These can be rented by the hour or by the day and you can head out onto the river to create your own experience. If you don’t feel comfortable going off on your own, Fever River Outfitters does offer guided trips that you can participate in. There are 2-hour, half-day, and full-day excursions offered depending on the time you have available and the experience that you desire.

Do you have your own kayak or canoe? Take it out on your own! Fever River Outfitters offers a shuttle service for you and your boat. Shuttle services are $15 a person and depart from the Depot Park in Galena. You can leave your car there to await your return while you head out on the river and enjoy your experience.

Experience the MISSISSIPPI Indoors

If you’re interested in learning the history of the Mighty Mississippi, head over to Dubuque and go to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium.  This museum is a combination of a science center, an aquarium and a museum that brings together the histories of Dubuque and the Mississippi River. Every exhibit explains and shows a different aspect of the Mississippi River near Dubuque, IA. There are four ticket options: a basic ticket that gives you general admission, a plus ticket that includes general admission and a film, an all-access ticket that includes general admission and two films, and a film only ticket that can be for either one or two films. They are open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., making it the perfect day trip if you’re interested in how the Mississippi has been a driving force for towns like Dubuque and Galena, and the wildlife surrounding each for centuries.

Bike the Border

If you want to experience the Mighty Mississippi from a safer distance, Chestnut Mountain Resort offers bike rentals to use along their trails. With a variety of trail lengths and skill levels, the mountain has plenty of options for you to bike around and find the perfect view of the Mississippi River from above. You can rent a bike for $15 an hour starting at 8 a.m. or you can rent it for the full day (8 a.m. to dusk) for $30. This scenic experience will give you a panoramic view of three states bordering the Mississippi without having to risk the wetness that the rushing river brings.


With several ways to experience the Mighty Mississippi, there’s plenty of activities for everyone to get out there. Whether you prefer being on the water or biking around with a view, you should head to these river towns and take your turn at experiencing all that the Mississippi and her surrounding communities have to offer.