The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

A series of underwater weirs have been installed along the Vaucluse Bendway to slow down the fast waters through this section and allow upstream tows and easier passage, at the same time provide more room for the downstream tows to position themselves for safe passage under the bridge.   As such it always best at this bend to hug the left bank descending around Island 84, both for the fast water and to avoid upstream tows.  If you are making landing at Sunnyside, stay mid channel as long as you can and then ferry across to Sunnyside RBD 531.5.


LBD 529-525.5 Lakeport Towhead/American Bar


After sliding through the narrows past Sunnyside and underneath the monumental wonders of the new Greenville Bridge the downstream will be flushed vigorously outwards into the center of the mile wide main channel not far below.  You will paddle over eleven major transcontinental petroleum pipelines, attesting to the importance of this location to commerce.  The channel here opens up like a flower steadily increasing in width until it is almost three miles wide in high water at the top of Lakeport Towhead/American Bar.  Here you will find your first best camping options below Greenville.  A tall forested ridge runs along the main channel with endless campsite possibilities at all water levels.  During high water you are more limited but you can get closer to the trees for shade and wind protection.  During low water the top end sandbar extends two miles upstream from the trees and becomes a wonderland for birding and beach-combing.  Several wreckages the result of the dangerous old Greenville Bridge have washed up here.  One of particular note is a wooden barge with hand-forged nails that has been visible for years at low water.  The entire island disappears at flood stage.    


LBD 525 American Cutoff/Lake Lee


Viewed from the sky American Bar has the shape of a mallard’s head with the beak pointing downstream.  At medium water levels (above 30GG) you can follow the American Cutoff and paddle behind Lakeport Towhead/American Bar.  The Mississippi River broke through a meander of the river here during the great flood of 1858 and created Lake Lee.  One of the first steamboats to push through the new channel was Captain Bixby’s Paul Jones under whom the young Mark Twain was serving as cub pilot (as narrated in the classic 1883 Life on the Mississippi).  If the river is higher than 30 on the Greenville Gauge you can slide behind Lakeport Towhead and through the American Cutoff.  Slow flow at medium water, good flow (maybe 3mph) at high water.  If the river is 40 or above you can follow a narrow back channel from the bottom of American Cutoff which dives through the forest at RBD 525 above the first of the Walnut Point Dikes.  This delightful channel meanders through tattered forests (that look like they’ve bee recently logged or thinned) for some respite from the wind, the sun, and the loneliness of the long distance channel.  A mile down this chute, which we’ll call the Walnut Point Chute since it cuts behind Walnut Point, the route splits again into two equally sized channels, one running due east and the other due south.  This is the entrance to the Lee Lake Pass.  The water here could be flowing either direction 

Leave A Comment

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