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The Cannon River begins among gently rolling hills on the edge of the Great Plains. Flowing unhurriedly past quiet river towns before dropping into a 300 foot deep canyon and emptying itself into the Mississippi. Connecting vastly diverse landscapes and the people who call each home, it drew the tribes of the Mississippi River valley upward with an appetite for bison and the incredible vision of sky and prairie without end. Likewise, it carried the tribes of the Great Plains down into the river valley in search of fish and grain and to feed that insatiable need to know where the river might lead.
When French traders arrived (by canoe) in the 17th century they dubbed this waterway La Riviere aux Canots, or The River of Canoes, for the way canoes were piled up on the shoreline where diverse peoples gathered around campfires to swap stories and share a meal.