The Great River Road

Old Man River, Father of Waters, “body of a nation,” Big Muddy—by any name the mighty Mississippi cuts a mythic figure across the American landscape.

Bellevue and Sabula

The GRR (US-52) returns to the Mississippi valley at Bellevue, with its lengthy Main Street and Riverfront Park beside Lock and Dam No. 12. Bellevue earns its name when you sit on the porch of the restored Mont Rest B&B (300 Spring St., 563/872-4220 or 877/872-4220, $150 and up) and take in the sweeping 270-degree panorama over the Mississippi.

Continuing south, the GRR stays in sparsely populated wooded lowlands through Sabula, an island of a town created by the Corps of Engineers when the pool above Lock and Dam No. 13, 16 miles downstream, flooded out the surrounding plains. Sabula takes its name from the Latin sabulum (sand). The river here is nearly four miles wide. Sabula’s encompassing levees provide fine wetlands bird-watching, especially for bald eagles.


Mont Rest B&B (300 Spring St.)