The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

birds and waterfowl. Shipland is far enough west that the spring and fall migration of Neotropical migrants may bring in birds not normally seen in most areas of Mississippi.

(Adopted from Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks)


480-474 Fitler Bend


Fitler takes its name from a plantation that used to be found around the bottom end of the bend.  The main channel of the river flushes vigorously around and out of Ajax (where it has been squeezed) and then erupts in a quarter-mile wide tongue of boils and swirls into Fitler.  The tall banks and thick forests of Fitler shove this muted muddy violence southwestward and then almost due west for removal into the next series of islands found at Cottonwood Bar and Arcadia Point Bar.  At high water, the speed of the river can be alarming.  During the great flood of 2011 which broke high water levels in Vicksburg and Natchez, two other paddlers and I clocked the water speed at 12 miles per hour!  This was a little alarming, to say the least.  As water speeds up its turbulence increases exponentially.  We experienced very violent boils erupting in this area.  So strongly did these boils arise out of the river depths that the large portions of the river’s face was pushed upwards one or two – or maybe even three feet – in a smooth dome 50, 60 maybe 100 feet wide, and then exploded open into a maelstrom of foaming boiling water that roared loudly and ominously.  As we flew down the river at 12 mph the waters slid sideways with centrifugal force and slammed into the bankside forests…  this with such force that the trees shook in excitement, their branches and leaves shaking like a wind was blowing, although there was none.   Tall wakes of whitewater arose around their trunks and curled outwards.  It looked like half of the boiling muddy river was sheeting sideways into the forests at Acadia Point and running off through the woods.


A funny vignette occurred here in Fitler Bend from our slightly crazy highwater expedition of May 2011.  I was paddling with Hodding Carter IV (of Greenville fame – his grandfather had founded the great newspaper the Delta Democrat Times) and photographer Christopher LaMarca.  We were documenting the flooding river for an Outside Magazine story that would later be voted one of the best adventure stories of the year.  The river had been “shut down” to recreational use and only a few tows braved the flood. There was no one else except for us.  We paddled into Fitler feeling like the whole river was ours and spotted some vacation homes that had been recently constructed near Point Lookout.  (Point Lookout is over the levee and through the woods east of Transylvania, Louisiana).  A small community had been carved into a wooded place that probably shouldn’t be inhabited…  Obviously shouldn’t be inhabited as made evident now: water was flowing over the streets twenty feet deep and telephone poles were quivering like frightened bunnies.  Some of the spec houses had been overturned.  We saw one house with muddy water flowing through its porch and decided to investigate.  Normally this house would stand tall above the water.  I’ve seen it since the flood.  It’s perched on stilts with a tall staircase reaching up to the porch.  The ground floor and the front porch stand at least twenty feet off the ground.  A jacuzzi had been installed on one side of the porch.  But now the river had risen over its sides, 

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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