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River Gator - The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail
The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

Lower Mississippi River Map

Mississippi River Photos

Maps of the Lower Mississippi River

Plan your river canoeing or kayaking adventure with detailed maps of the Lower Mississippi River? Our Maps page has links to maps of the river from St. Francis to Arkansas City, and the best camping along Lower Mississippi Water Trail.

For tips on how to use Google Maps for planning your trip refer to this excerpt from the River Log, Reading Google Maps...Unlike highways which don't change shape or position with the seasons, the islands of the Mississippi River and their back channels are dramatically affected by water levels. And so the paddler needs to remember that the shapes of low-lying landmarks like the sandbars and wetlands seen on Google Satellite Maps or Google Earth is probably not what they are like on any given day when you are out on the river. more...

Canoe and Kayak Safety

The Mississippi River presents many challenges for paddlers, but when properly approached by experienced paddlers with the right equipment it can be the amongst most rewarding paddling in North America. River Gator has extensive information about canoe and kayak safety especially on the Mississippi River. Visit Safety under the Paddler's Guide and get prepared for your Mississippi River adventure.

Camping on the Mississippi River

The best camping on the Lower Mississippi River Water Trail is found within one mile perimeter of the locations listed on this Campsite Map. River campers, please be aware that actual sandbar size & shape very greatly with water level. In the River Log you can read detailed accounts of canoeing, kayaking, paddling and camping on the Lower Mississippi River. Select the area of the River where you'll be paddling or camping and there are descriptions to help you plan your paddling adventure.

THE RIVERGATOR is a mile-by-mile paddler’s guide
written for canoeists, kayakers, stand-up-paddleboarders,
and anyone else plying the waters of the Lower
Mississippi River in human-powered craft.

The Middle/Lower Mississippi River creates the longest
free-flowing water trail in the continental United States,
1155 miles from St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico.

The name Rivergator is adopted from the best seller The
Navigator first published in 1801 by Zadok Kramer, with
the hope that Americans will rediscover their “wilderness
within,” the paddler’s paradise created by the Middle
Lower Mississippi Rivers.

Four year project. Website under construction. Dec
2014: add on St. Louis to Caruthersville and Vicksburg to
Baton Rouge. Dec 2015: website completed with the
addition of Baton Rouge to the Gulf and the Atchafalaya.

Useful for daytrippers and long distance paddlers alike.
Choose your section of the Lower Mississippi River to
explore by clicking on one of the sections below. Or click
on the full color base map and keep clicking through
increasing magnification of maps for details.

The below mileage corresponds to the mile system used
on the 2007 US Army Corps of Engineer River Maps.

Who is the River Gator written by?

The Rivergator was written by paddlers for paddlers. Primary author, John Ruskey, has been paddling, photographing, and documenting the islands, landings and channels of the Lower Mississippi River since 1982. A host of big river experts reviewed content and added details including legendary river guide Michael Clark (Big Muddy Adventures, St. Louis) author Ernest Herndon (Canoeing Mississippi, Canoeing Louisiana), and biologist Paul Hartfield (endangered species specialist for the US Fish & Wildlife). Project is coordinated by the Lower Mississippi River Foundation. The Rivergator website is made possible by many partners, including the Walton Family Foundation, which believes in "conservationomics": lasting solutions that make sense for the economy and the environment.

John Ruskey

Click here for complete Panel of Experts:


Including Rivergator Excerpt!
Most know the Mississippi River as the powerful, coffee-colored waterway that cuts through the center of America, or as the stomping grounds for Mark Twain's indelible characters. But it is also a viable wilderness thriving right under our noses. In pulling together writings from Muir, Thoreau, Roosevelt, Rivergator, and many, many others, I AM COYOTE makes a strong bid for the ultimate river island campfire anthology.

Rivergator: Paddlers Guide to the Lower Mississippi River from John Ruskey on Vimeo.