Great Loop, The. A water route, often used by recreational boaters, that allows a complete circumnavigation of the eastern half of the United States. The route reaches from the Atlantic Ocean, through various canals to the Great Lakes, through more canals and rivers, including the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico and from there back to the Atlantic and the Intracoastal Waterway. The most common route is counterclockwise, as this takes advantage of the downstream flow of rivers in the Midwest. Sometimes referred to as the Great Circle Route.
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