The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail
LBD Mile 537 New Warfield Point Boat Ramp
A new public boat ramp was completed in 2013 at Warfield Point near observation tower, with parking. This ramp will reach the river at all water levels, from low water to flood stage. Paddlers can enter the main channel of the river from here without having to jockey for position amongst harbor tows and associated traffic. Safe parking within park. Notify park officials if leaving vehicle overnight.
536-531 Vaucluse Bend/Island 84
Below Warfield Point the river opens southwestward up a mile wide into a vast moving pool that flows into and then south around Vaucluse Bend with Island 84 on the left. Be vigilant for tows that often come to a stop in this area for servicing, crew changes and refueling from the nearby Economy Boat Store. One of the first points of interest downstream is the Greenville Discharge Area, LBD 536, only visible in low water. In high water you can stay left bank descending and save considerable mileage, but in low water you will have no choice except to the flow around the perimeter of the wide bend. Island 84 is a low-lying sandbar with no protection. Only exposed in low waters, below 25 GG. Below 15 Island 84 grows into a sprawling 3-mile long sandbar punctuated with numerous inlets and back channel pools that trap fish and attract egrets, herons and occasional bald eagles. These pools make for wonderful walks, and create a turtle heaven. The waters get squeezed towards the bottom of the island and carve a cliff of sand along the edge of Is. 84, if the weather is calm you can locate possible camping downstream of this sandy cliff, but again there is no privacy or protection.
534 Vaucluse Landing
The top end of Chicot Lake, the largest oxbow lake in North America, is found just through the woods and over the levee from Vaucluse Landing. In the geologic history of a meandering waterway, a free-flowing river periodically cuts off its own bends and isolates them in half-round lakes known as oxbows. Vaucluse Landing is the site of one of these ancient cutoffs. Today the river slams strongly against the banks here before being funneled downstream under the bridge.
From Marion Bragg’s Historic Names & Places:
During major floods, Vaucluse Landing is one of the places that engineers and flood fighters watch with some apprehension. Large sandboils have often erupted in the area in the past, and sandboils have to be controlled or they can cause a levee to collapse.