U.S. Department of Defense



Date of this Version



Published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha and Kansas City Districts (1968) 1-24


The Missouri, longest of America's great rivers, played an important and vital role in the westward expansion of the United States. For years it was the chief form of transportation connecting the populous cities of the east with the vast resources of the west. Generations of Americans have been thrilled by the many stories and adventures relating to it.

This is the river that for almost a century was a principal highway for the biggest adventure in North America -- the development of the west. It served in turn the explorer, the fur trader, the homesteader, and developed the rough the years to become the potential artery of modern commerce. From the air the Missouri appears as a winding stream of continuous bends. Each bend bears a name generally reflecting its past history and derived from a noted person, historic incident, or place.

The Missouri River of today continues as a vital resource to the nation providing water for irrigation, water supply, water quality control, power generation, navigation, recreation and fish and wildlife. Today you can retrace the route that Captains Lewis and Clark pioneered over 160 years ago, actually visiting the area of their camp sites and enjoying the spectacular views of the river as they did. This is due to the coordinated efforts of various Federal agencies, individual states, and local communities in establishing a Lewis and Clark Trail. While still in its beginning stages, progress is being made.

This report describes in general terms the recreation programs and projects of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers along the lower portion of the Missouri River and how they are fit into the Lewis and Clark Trail Program.