Riverland's position at the juncture of two of the biggest bird migration routes in the world makes it a bird-watching mecca. It's also a great spot for paddling kayaks and canoes in Ellis Bay, wandering 8.5 miles of trails, and catching a sunset.

Highlights

  • One the best places to view birds and other wildlife with viewing platforms and bird blinds in the perfect location.
  • 8.5 miles of trails with through prairies, wetlands, and along Ellis Bay. All places birds love to congregate.
  • Ellis Bay is a very tranquil place to paddle and is spectacular at sunset
  • Their website provides lots of great information about what birds are there and when new ones arrive.
  • They offer great programs to peak your interest and help you learn more. Here’s their list of upcoming events.

Lowlights

  • The water is muddy and there’s no swimming for humans, birds love it though

Getting There

Up near the confluence. An easy 30 minute drive from St. Louis. Google will get you there easily.

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I don’t know how I managed to live in St. Louis for over 45 years without learning that it is one of the best bird-watching spots in the world. The Mississippi and Missouri rivers act as migratory paths for millions of birds and the abundant wetlands up near the confluence act at extended stop-over points for a huge variety of birds as they make their way to their destinations. For bird-watching, we aren’t just talking about very unlikely chance that you may see a couple birds of some rare species you’ve never heard of and don’t particularly care about. Instead, picture seeing 1000s of White Pelicans or Trumpeter Swans or Gulls or many other species that make their way through or nest in the area. I didn’t consider myself a bird-watcher until this year when I got exposed to how amazing it is to see all these birds congregating, fishing, flying, and making lots of noises.

Riverlands also has lots of interesting trails through prairies and wetlands that include viewing platforms and bird blinds and expose you to new experiences you wont find when hiking through the woods.