ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – If you like float trips, this could be the ultimate one – going from St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico on the Mississippi.

Michael Clark of Big Muddy Adventures says for people who like float trips, paddling the Mississippi the ultimate trip.

“You can go on these rivers, you can paddle, and you can do it safely. We are growing, we’ve been here a while, and the number of paddlers that are now paddling on this river is growing,” he says.

Big Muddy, also provides canoes and guides for day trips around the local waters of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, with picnic lunches on local river islands.

Several paddle-enthusiasts have already taken the trip, including John Ruskey, creator of the ‘Rivergator’, a paddler’s guide to the lower Mississippi.

“Getting out on the water has always been one of the most special things you can do. It has inspired painters and poets and writers, any person that goes out and spends a day on the water is going to learn something about themselves,” he says.

Ruskey left with an expedition of paddlers in two long, wooden canoes outfitted with gear for the 1200 mile journey.

Promotors of river tourism gathered on the St. Louis levee to launch the canoes bound for the Gulf of Mexico. Chris Battaglia of Portland, Maine, is making his second trip on the river.

“It’s this mesmerizing balance between both paddling, rising and falling with the daylight is pretty beautiful, and once I went over my first bluff and hopped in the canoe it was a really visceral feeling,” he says.

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