The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

brownish green… a softer and creamier blend of mud than the Mississippi.  It’s best to cut the corner tight when entering the Yazoo.  Especially after a heavy rainfall.  The Yazoo can run strong and you won’t want to be forced to fight the current here.  Towboats enter and exit the Yazoo to reach the Vicksburg Harbor, which was carved out of the bottomlands three miles upstream.   Proceed cautiously up the Yazoo watching for tows and gators.  Monitor VHF13 if carrying radio.  Gators are commonly seen and like to sun themselves on the left bank ascending.  Paddle one mile up the Yazoo to reach the public boat launch at the foot of Clay Street.  For positive identification you can tell your greeting party that you are arriving at the “Vicksburg Boat Ramp.”  It’s behind the sea wall across from Catfish Row Art Park.  Shuttle drivers can come down Clay Street and enter at the break in the sea wall with all the beautiful murals.


After safely pulling off the river, look up to the right of the sea wall gate for a display of flood crest heights, and you’ll see how much higher the 2011 flood was than any others previous!   If it’s hot you can cool down in one of the fountains at the Art Park.  Nothing feels better than a fresh water bath after a week on the muddy & sweaty summer Mississippi!  Public Bathrooms.  Park operates daily 9am-sunset.  You can also enjoy a walking tour of the history of the region walking along the sea wall’s Riverfront Murals.  They were completed in 2002 by artist Robert Dafford. 




Vicksburg marks a significant change of geography for the Lower Mississippi River paddler.  Vicksburg heralds the end of the Mississippi Delta and the beginning of the Mississippi Loess Bluffs.  From here down to St. Francisville there are no continuous levees on the Mississippi side because of the high ground created by the bluffs, which approach the river and then retreat along various tributaries like Bayou Pierre, Coles Creek and the Big Black River.  The Yazoo-Mississippi Delta technically ends at the mouth of the Yazoo River, also known as “the River of Death.”  This junction also marks the first left bank tributary since Noncannah Creek in Memphis, 300 miles upstream!


The Yazoo River (along with its major tributary the Big Sunflower) drains all the Mississippi Delta and much of the Hill Country.  If there was ever any river that had the blues, it is the Yazoo.  Its reach includes Delta blues stars like Memphis Minnie, Charlie Patton, Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters, and Robert Johnson, and also Hill Country blues stars Mississippi Fred McDowell, Othar Turner, and Jessie Mae Hemphill, and many, many others.  Almost anyone you can name in the Delta Blues or Hill Country blues traditions were born and raised in this drainage.  See Rivergator Appendix for complete descriptions of the paddling trails of the Lower Delta including Centennial Lake, the Yazoo River, Big Sunflower River, Little Sunflower River and Yalobusha River.


Vicksburg’s nickname “the Key to the South” also applies to paddlers.  Here you will find your best place to start or end an expedition.  For long-distance paddlers it will be you best resupply.  Vicksburg is thick with history, culture, good food and great accommodations.  The feeling is “thick” here also.  Thick and oily.  Downtown feels like 

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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