The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

“On March 7, 1866, the cutoff that had been predicted for more than half a century finally occurred. Terrapin Neck had narrowed until it was only about 30 feet wide, and the channel that the river cut across it enlarged very rapidly. On March 28 it was reported that the little steamer Ada Norvell had come down through the new cutoff instead of taking the bendway, and her captain said he believed the new channel was now safe for all boats.


“Eagle Bend soon silted up at both ends and became the oxbow lake that is called Eagle Lake. For many years, Eagle Lake was widely known among sportsmen as one of the finest fishing lakes in the South, but pollution has created many problems in recent years. The swamps and forests that made the vicinity of Eagle Bend an ideal habitat for the Bald Eagle were cleared away, and the use of agricultural chemicals on the surrounding plantations contaminated the waters of the lake. A control structure designed to prevent pollution is now under construction by the Army Corps of Engineers. Sportsmen hope that when the structure is completed, the lake will recover most of its former productivity.”  (Historic Names & Places)


LBD 458 Tara Landing


Every year at the end of August thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of waders including anhingas, egrets, herons, roseate spoonbills, terns, killdeer, double breasted cormorants, sandhill cranes — and many others — roost in very particular and very remote wetlands along the Lower Mississippi River.  This roosting period always occurs at the end of August.  It’s predictable as the start of school.  The only unknown is exactly which watering hole the waterfowl gang will gather at.  This seems to change from year to year and epoch to epoch. 


Some of these gathering places are located within the 9,000 acre Tara Wildlife Preserve.  Ten years ago Halpino Lake was the place to be at sunset.  As you’re coming down the Mississippi River you might get lucky and stumble into one of the these watering holes filled with thousands and thousands of squawking birds shaking their tail feathers and spreading their wings in and out as they make their final adjustments before settling in for the night.  This is a remarkable sight.  But equally remarkable and maybe even more startling is the scene gathering on the other end of the lake.  Imagine an open air bus driving up, driven by a jocular Aussie named Gilbert.  The people on board the chopped-off school bus all have big cameras and spotting scopes or binoculars.  Gilbert and his crew swiftly offload the bus and set up a table full of bottles and start popping corks.  The birders filter through in between glassfuls of wine and watching the waterfowl.  Have you dropped in on some sort of American Safari?  Well, yes, you have.  Welcome to Tara Wildlife celebrating its annual “Stork & Cork!”


Tara Wildlife celebrates the river, its bottomland hardwood forests, and its waterfowl with an annual Mississippi River Nature Weekend (“Stork & Cork”) towards the end of 

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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