The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

Brown’s Point LBD 443.5.  In low water a sizable sandbar collects here near LBD 443, but offers no protection from the elements and serves for much scrutiny from passing tows which hug this bar on their way upriver.


444 Brown’s Point Fault Line


As you glide around Brown’s Point enjoying the lively currents pouring out of Paw Paw and Marshall Cut-Off and it seems like your final lap into Vicksburg is going to be an easy ride.  Without warning and much to your dismay the strong flow in the middle of the channel suddenly flattens out in a mass of gentle but giant boils and weird slow side-to-side motions.  Nothing violent or extreme happens here.  But the current disappears and sensitive paddlers might feel like they’ve hit the end of the Mississippi River.  This can be an exasperating feeling as you’re coming around the bend in the 22-mile long Bluz Cruz Kayak & Canoe Race.  This can be very alarming if a towboat is powering up the channel towards you and you now feel helpless as a fly caught in a Venus flytrap.  What is going on?  The explanation is that the entire river drops over a 30 foot shelf.  Not the top of the river of course (that would be a waterfall amongst waterfalls)!  But the bottom of the river.  If you were a 12-foot long alligator gar swimming along the bottom of the Mississippi you would slide over a watery dark chasm as the muddy bottom precipitously drops out.  Your downstream current has been flattened by the “shoal effect.”  When the volume of the river channel expands so abruptly, as happens at the bottom end of any shoals, the current slows and sometimes dissipates completely.


For the downstream paddler entering the shoals and confronting upstream tows in this morass don’t fret any more than usual.  Remember, the towboat is experiencing the same water conditions you are.  You have the same amount of time you had in the strong running waters to get out of their way.  If you are paddling downstream in Bluz Cruz and get the feeling of the wind pulled out your sails here, keep paddling hard and remember that all of the other paddlers in front of you and all of those chasing your tail are experiencing the same.  (Note to Bluz Cruzers looking for the best line: in high water cut the corner tightly and jump into the first tongue of water you see emerging downstream of this fault-line phenomena.  In low water stay left bank with the flow until it dies, then paddle as hard as possible towards middle channel where the current eventually regains composure and reshapes itself for the final run down into the bluffs.  When you take first place in your class be sure to thank the Rivergator for this helpful tip!)


As noted above, upstream tows tend to hug the LBD below Brown’s Point.  If there are any downstreamers approaching (from above — within five to ten miles upstream) all the upstream tows in the Vicksburg area above the bridge will come to a halt somewhere along the tall forested banks LBD along King’s Point.  After the downstreamer passes all the upstreamers will fire up their engines and begin churning the water here into a brown foamy broth with waves worthy of the Colorado River over Lava Falls.  Monitor VHF channel 13.  If possible, wait for last downstream tow to pass and then follow 

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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