The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

Kentucky Bend and Island area is very wild feeling with no sign of man’s follies anywhere in view.  You will see the occasional towboat of course, and the island is popular with fishermen.  But otherwise it’s nothing but you, the big trees, the sandy islands, and the big river.  And the river feels very big around here, there are so many big islands and routes for the river to go it feels kind of like you have been washed into the gulf stream where it flows through the Bahaman archipelago.  At low water you can find good spots almost anywhere along Kentucky Island.  At medium water try the top half, or go back channel for more privacy.  In high water levels, above 38 GG the only reliable camping will be found along the expansive sandy fields top end, which you’ll share with all the animals that have fled the forest and other parts of the island in the rising waters!  Kentucky Island is fascinating at all water levels.  In low water you will discover huge piles of logs amongst the tall dikes and dried out channels, as well as muddy banks that have collapsed from the island with exposed roots and things that might have been hidden under the layers of mud and sand.  There are several steamboat wrecks hidden in the mud here, amongst which are the Saladin and the Congress which crashed head on in February 1846, and the Webster which burned and sank in 1851.  Below the third dike on the main channel is a grove of very large cottonwood trees, a reminder of the big trees that used to prevail over the Delta.   A mile below, near mile 515.5 an inlet opens up into the belly of the island which you can paddle into during high water, and walk into at low.  The bottom of Kentucky Island is dominated by mature willow forests which create a spectacular detour during high water.  The flooded woods is similar to a mangrove forest, You will paddle through hallways of tall willows while the water dances around you full of sparkling reflections, colors, branches and leaves.  Even the most jaded of paddlers will be moved!


LBD 515-512 Leota Bar/Cracraft Chute

After Rounding Kentucky Bend the river turns southward around Leota Bar and runs into the Cracraft Chute.  This is one of the most stunningly beautiful sections of river anywhere along the Lower Mississippi River.  It should be considered a wild and scenic river so pristine are its islands, sandbars, forests, and so expansive the river which flows through them, around them, beside them, and (during high water) on top of them!  Leota is the first of three prominent islands in this stretch, moreover boasts the best campsites.  Leota rises proudly from the middle of the flood.   At high water above 37 on the Greenville Gauge the river stretches several miles wide and Leota appears to be a vibrant green ship sailing over a roiling brown sea.  Best camping at high water is found anywhere along the sandy flats crowded up along the base of the cottonwood/willow parklands.  As the water drops the sandbars extend outwards in all directions, especially north and south.  At low water this results in a superlative three-mile log island that feels closer to heaven than earth.  The river continually carves a steep sandbar on the main channel side so you can always get close enough to the woods you can find wind and shade protection, and find firewood close by.

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Middle Mississippi & Bluegrass Hills / Bootheel 195-0, 954-850 ST. LOUIS TO CARUTHERSVILLE
Chickasaw Bluffs 850 – 737 CARUTHERSVILLE TO MEMPHIS
Upper Delta 737 – 663 MEMPHIS TO HELENA
Middle Delta 663 – 537 HELENA TO GREENVILLE
Greenville to Lake Providence
Greenville, Mississippi  
Greenville Accomodations and Restaurants  
Greenville Blues Festivals  
Greenville Boat Ramp  
Greenville Harbor  
537 LBD Warfield Point Park
537 LBD Old Warfield Point Boat Ramp
537 LBD New Warfield Point Boat Ramp
537 LBD New Warfield Point Boat Ramp
534 LBD Vaucluse Landing
531.5 RBD Sunny Side Landing
530.7 LBD Greenville Bridge
529 – 525.5 LBD Lakeport Towhead / American Bar
525 LBD American Cut-Off / Lake Lee
Lake Lee Public Boat Ramp  
Options for Paddlers Below Greenville Bridge Near American Bar and Lake Lee  
Lake Washington  
523 – 520 RBD Island 68
519 – 515 RBD Kentucky Bend
515 – 512 LBD Leota Bar / Cracraft Chute
514 – 512 RBD Worthington Cutoff, Matthews Bend, Grand Lake, Island 88
512 RBD (And Up Back Channel) Grand Lake Landing Boat Ramp
510 – 506 RBD Cracraft Bar
Paddler’s Choices Through Cracraft Chute & Sarah’s Cutoff  
Entering Louisiana  
503.5 RBD Bunch’s Cutoff
503 RBD Chute of Old River Lake
505 – 502 LBD Corregidor Bar
500 – 495 RBD Wilson Point Bar
496 LBD Tennis Court Landing
Vicksburg Gage  
Water Levels and Dikes  
494 – 487 LBD Baleshead / Stack Island / Ben Lamond
Two Stack Islands?  
Lake Providence  
Lake Providence Landings  
Paddler’s Choices in the Mayersville – Lake Providence Area  
487 – 481 LBD Shipland Wildlife Management Area
Lake Providence to Vicksburg
Vicksburg Gage  
Water Levels and Dikes  
Water Levels and Dikes  
Lake Providence  
Lake Providence Landing  
Paddler’s Choices in the Mayersville – Lake Providence Area  
487 – 481 LBD Shipland Wildlife Management Area
480 – 474 Fitler Bend
471 – 465 Arcadia Point Bar / Cottonwood Bar
Paddler’s Routes Arcadia Point Bar / Cottonwood Bar  
462 – 459 RBD Willow Island
461 LBD Chotard Lake Terrapin Neck Cutoff
Laney’s Landing  
459 LBD 2010 F-4 Tallulah – Yazoo Tornado
458.8 LBD Eagle Lake Pass
458 LBD Tara Landing
457 RBD Madison Parish Port and Public Boat Launch
Bluz Cruz Kayak and Canoe Race  
Willow Island, Chotard Lake, and Eagle Lake: Paddler’s Routes  
458 – 449 Milliken Bend
449 – 445 RBD Sparta Island
449 – 445 RBD Marshall Cutoff
446.5 LBD Paw Paw Chute
The “Heart of the Darkness” Tour  
Around Paw Paw to Forest Home Chute  
Paw Paw to Vicksburg Via the Yazoo  
Steele Bayou Control Structure  
What Are the Paw Paws  
Paw Paw Chute / Sparta / Brown’s Point: Paddler’s Routes  
445 – 442 Brown’s Point
444 Brown’s Point Fault Line
441 – 438.5 RBD Delta Point Bar
Habitat Restoration on the Lower Miss  
438 RBD King’s Point / Secret Entrance Into Lake Centennia
437.7 LBD Mouth of the Yazoo River
Vicksburg Services and Accommodations  
Vicksburg Services, Accommodations, and Restaurants  
Looking Downstream  
Loess Bluffs 437 – 225 VICKSBURG TO BATON ROUGE
Atchafalaya River 159 – 0 SIMMESPORT TO MORGAN CITY
Louisiana Delta 229 – 10 BATON ROUGE TO VENICE
Birdsfoot Delta 10 – 0 VENICE TO GULF OF MEXICO