Modoc Ferry

The Modoc Ferry is a fair-weather vessel connecting Mudds Landing, Illinois, and Little Rock Landing, Missouri. While it may seem that the ferry’s nickname—“The French Connection”—is merely a marketing gimmick, this very location has indeed been host to ferry service since French colonial trade brought agricultural goods across the river from the American Bottom to St. Genevieve. Nicolas de Finiels’ 1797 map of the region shows a ferry crossing in this location—with the main road from St. Genevieve to St. Louis actually crossing to the east bank of the river, then north through the bottoms, and crossing back over the river to the west bank. It takes approximately five minutes to make the crossing, with the ferry dodging barge traffic and plying a strangely acute angle against the strong river current. Currently, it is the only passage in the 50-plus miles between the Jefferson Barracks Bridge and the Chester Bridge, and charges a fee for the crossing.