The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

less.  Opportunities like Cottonwood are rare and should be favored upon by conservation agencies like Mississippi Game and Fish and protectors of our wild lands like the Nature Conservancy.  At $2,000/acre we’re looking at $2.5 million dollars.  But some people drop $100 million into a yacht.  $2.5 million is nothing when you consider all the boy scouts, girl scouts, church groups, anglers and sports lovers who could be enjoy a lifetime of outdoor recreation on a Mississippi River Island!


At low water canoeists and kayakers must stay main channel through Arcadia Point Bar/Cottonwood Bar, but watch for upcoming tows which favor the slow water below Arcadia and might be out of sight until you are deep within the bend.  Monitor VHF channel 13 and watch carefully downstream for any emerging tows.  The channel is narrow here and its turbulent waters and hard edges can produce large waves with the passage of upstream tows.  Of course, be equally vigilant for down-streamers which come plowing from above around Fitler and need the width of Cottonwood Chute to make their turn.  


As the water rises the side channels and back channels open up behind Arcadia and Cottonwood.  Be careful of violent waterfalls flowing over back channel dikes at medium water (around 25VG).  There is a notorious whirlpool that forms behind Cottonwood at this water level as the water sluices through a notched dike.  At high water you can go far right behind Cottonwood Bar for a foray into Transylvania, Louisiana, or you can stay left amongst the wild archipelago of Arcadia Bar.  Arcadia splits into a dozen or more islands at high water.  Paddlers can choose any number of routes to follow.  You could easily spend a day or more paddling in around all of these islands and enjoying the prolific wildlife found there.  In fact this could be a beautiful round trip from the Madison Parish Boat Ramp.  This section is for experts only, with many challenging upstream paddling and aggressive ferry crossings.


Paddler’s Routes Arcadia Point Bar/Cottonwood Bar


Canoeists, kayakers and stand up paddle-boarders must stay main channel during low water, but in high water can follow any number of routes behind Arcadia Bar, or the back channel of Cottonwood.  Cottonwood is always open with some water, but best run at medium water or above, say around 25 or above on the Vicksburg Gauge.


Main Channel

Coming out of Fitler stay mid channel and then slide right bank as you enter in between Cottonwood Island and Arcadia Bar.  Exit into big channel below island following the strongest flow outwards RBD towards Goodrich, Dogtail and Willow Island further down.


Cottonwood Bar Back Channel 

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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