The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail
Florida to Ontario Canada, from the Atlantic to Nebraska). Look for the fruit late in the summer. The trees grow in the mature woods of the bottomland hardwood forests, rarely gaining more than thirty feet in height. If you think they’re ready, shake the tree. The ripe fruit will be soft, but not mushy. Eat this heavenly fruit soon, but don’t eat the sickness inducing seeds and flesh. Paw paws taste something like a mango, or a mango meets an apricot, or a mango/peach/banana, or — well who knows… everyone says something different. They taste like a paw paw! The paw paw will not keep for more than a day or two. And yes, they do grow on Paw Paw Island! In fact they grow in favorable locations anywhere along the Lower Miss. Once you know what to look for, and once you’ve tasted their succulent orange meat you be hunting for them every time you make landing. Lastly, they are nutritious. Following the lead of their native guides, the Lewis & Clark Expedition survived four days on nothing more than paw paws and a biscuit a day.
Note: Paw Paw information gleaned from 2013 Paw Paw Expedition with Andy Moore. Andrew Moore has been working on the pawpaw book for the past year-and-a-half, but has been a fervent pawpaw enthusiast for the past three. Learn more about Andy and the forthcoming book on Paw Paws at his blogsite: www.thepawpawbook.wordpress.com
Paw Paw Chute/Sparta/Brown’s Point: Paddler’s Routes
Canoes, Kayaks and Stand-Up-Paddleboards can stay main channel for the fastest water through the last two big bends of the river coming into Vicksburg, or if the river is flowing above 25VG paddle behind Sparta. Adventuresome paddlers can explore Paw Paw Chute and the old channels of the Yazoo, and if the water is high enough cut through the last of the Lower Delta Wilderness for a back door entry via the Yazoo River into Vicksburg (recommended above 25VG).
Paddle out of Milliken Bend mid channel and cross over LBD to the left bank descending side into Marshall Cut-Off through to Brown’s Point. If there is no tow traffic go mid channel around Brown’s Point and cross over RBD right bank along Delta Point, cross again to left bank LBD for final approach to the mouth of the Yazoo River and Vicksburg.
Sparta Island Back Channel RBD 449-445
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.
Paw Paw Chute