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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 RIVER GATOR is written for canoeists, kayakers and stand-up-paddleboarders, and anyone else plying the waters of the Lower Mississippi River in human-powered craft.

I am hoping to share the secrets for safe canoeing & kayaking on this often mysterious and confusing waterway and at the same time dispel some of the myths about paddling the Big River.

Note on title: "River Gator" is a take-off from the best seller The Navigator first published in 1801 by Zadok Kramer, (the same guy who numbered the islands).

The River-Gator River Log is the mile-mile description of the Lower Mississippi River Water Trail for the “River-Gator” website.

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

Please choose your section of the Lower Mississippi River to explore by clicking on one of the sections below.
Who is the River Gator written by?
The River-Gator was written by John Ruskey who has been paddling, photographing, and documenting the islands, landings and channels of the Lower Mississippi River since 1982. A host of river experts reviewed content
John Ruskey
John Ruskey
including author Ernest Herndon (Canoeing Mississippi, Canoeing Louisiana), and biologist Paul Hartfield (USFW). Project coordinated by the Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee. The River Gator website is made possible with a grant from the Walton Family Foundation, which believes in “conservationomics”: lasting solutions that make sense for the economy and the environment.

Click here for complete Panel of Experts:

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