The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

Private Landing at edge of 9,000 acre Tara Wildlife Preserve.  Annual Mississippi River Nature Weekend (“Stork & Cork”) towards the end of August and a Spring Birding Weekend at the end of April.


Madison Parish Port and Public Boat Launch RBD 457

Primitive launch point.  Carry your vessel to the water’s edge over mud, sand, gravel, rip-rap and whatever else you might encounter there.  No concrete, no improvement. Rough parking on muddy gravel above rip-rap. Don’t leave your vehicle overnight.  Arrange shuttle.  In an emergency you could find water at the nearby Bunge Grain elevator offices.  Otherwise keep on downstream for resupply in Vicksburg.  Land access from US 65 at Talla Bena.


Tara Island Back Channel

Paddlers can cut behind Tara Island LBD 455 above 25VG, but you might want to camp elsewhere.  The noisy Madison Parish Port is right across the channel.


458-449 Milliken Bend


Below Willow the mile-wide channel flows south past Chotard, Eagle Lake, Tara and then starts curving eastward into Milliken Bend.  Tara Island is LBD 455 with possible low or medium water camping, but you might want to camp elsewhere.  The noisy Madison Parish Port is right across the channel.  The river feels sluggish here at low water (maybe two or three mph) but picks up spirit in high water and clips right along downstream at five to seven miles per hour — or faster in higher water levels.  You’ll want to stay with the best flow along the right bank descending, several hundred yards out.  Find the “boil-line” and keep with it as the miles slide by.  The foam tends to collect along this line, and during a river rise so does the driftwood.   You’ll find your best river current in this vicinity.  Follow the foam.  Upstream tows tend to cross channel out of Paw Paw and stay with the slower water LBD left bank descending along Forest Home Towhead, which is built up along a six-mile long chain of dikes extending outwards.  Twelve dikes total over six miles!  In normal conditions there will be a red “nun” buoy placed at the end of each and every dike. 


RBD 449-445 Sparta Island


As you slide into Marshall Cut-Off, and if the water is above 25 Vicksburg Gauge you can stay right bank and cut behind Sparta Island to re-enter the river three miles downstream near Brown’s Point.  In 1999, I was leading a group of high school students from Denver Colorado on a 5-day expedition from Greenville to Vicksburg.  We were planning our Vicksburg take-out on Day 5.  Vicksburg was only ten miles downstream and the excitement was building.  But the river gods had other ideas in store for us.  A line of severe thunderstorms hit us as we paddled down along Milliken Bend, sheets of rain and we were forced to take shelter out of the wind behind Sparta.  The storms continued all day and we abandoned plans for takeout, but instead hoisted our thirty 

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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