The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

LBD 640.5 – 637 Island 63

Private Hunting Camp Island.  Setting for one of Mark Twain’s stories from Life on the Mississippi.  Access to Quapaw Landing behind Island (See below).


LBD 640.5 Entrance to top end of Island 63 Chute

Great back channel to explore.  Highly recommended — unless you’re already camped on Island 62.  If you are proceed to bottom end for a view into this un-imporoved back channel, its banks mostly free of the endless rip-rap, rock and revetment of the main channel.  Your only access to Quapaw Landing is through this chute either via the top end of Is. 63 or via its bottom end (see below).


When the river is above 10HG Paddlers wanting to reach Quapaw can enter the chute of Island 63 above the island and enjoy the wilds of the back channel.  This chute used to be bisected by a tall rock dike that corked off the flow until medium water, somewhere around 20 HG.  However, after dike being busted open in 2009 as one of the many notching projects initiated by the Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee the river now pours through at lower water levels.  The 2011 flood scoured this opening even deeper and much more water is flowing through.  Now this opening is flowing at even lower water levels, as low as 5HG, and is full-throttle waterfall with a three foot drop at 10HG.   Be ready for some big standing waves and swirling turbulence.  Playboaters will love this notch as a surfing feature!  On a stand up paddleboard you could eddy out and return to the train of waves for some fun in the muddy surf!  Whitewater can be expected here until the river climbs above 20 HG.  Paddlers: put on your lifejacket and strap down all loose gear and then aim for center channel and follow the V-line through the rocky walls and pounding waves beyond.  If you flip over you can eddy out and recover on one of the muddy banks or isolated sandbars.  Best practice: stop and inspect first.  If you don’t like the look of things or don’t want to risk a capsize, approach one of the ends of the dike and portage over.  Or, avoid this channel completely and go for the bottom entrance to Quapaw.


Quapaw Landing is approximately four miles down this chute LBD.  Unmarked.  See below for description.


LBD 637.5 Entrance into bottom end of Island 63 Chute

You can reach Quapaw Landing at all water levels by floating to the bottom of Island 63, and turning left (East) into the wide chute below, and paddling back upstream.  Quapaw Landing is approximately one mile from the bottom end of Island 63 and four miles from its top end.


LBD 637 (Back Channel Island 63)

Quapaw Landing

N34.262962, W-90.744088 

Good solid concrete ramp, but narrow and steep.  Sometimes muddy when the river is dropping and the county road crew hasn’t gotten out to clear it off.  Serviceable at all water levels up to 39HG when the parking lot above starts going under water.  Completely submerged (but still usable) at 41HG.  You will have to park vehicles on the Old Levee Road (Burke’s Point Road) and take-out off the old levee surrounding this landing when the river gets up to Flood Stage (44HG).


The concrete ramp at Quapaw Landing angles northwesterly down to the river through an abrupt muddy bank full of mature willows.  As with all Mississippi River Landings, it is unmarked from the river.  It is difficult to spot from the water until you are at just the right angle below it.  Paddling up from below (from the bottom end of the island) you should be able to locate the landing with no trouble if you keep looking for it.  But it is much more difficult to find from above because it remains hidden by deep muddy banks until you pass below it.  If you are floating down behind Island 63 with intentions to make landing hug the LBD after a couple of miles from the top entrance  keep looking back up into the wooded banks.  Eventually you will locate the landing, but it is helpful if you keep a map handy and if you have one a GPS.  Otherwise, using dead reckoning Quapaw can be located LBD along the southern shore as the the back channel begins to curve westward toward its final opening back into the river.  After dark you might spot the flood lights that have been installed in the small parking lot above the ramp (if they haven’t been shot out by the roustabouts who sometimes party there).  Overnight parking not recommended.  Park in Clarksdale and arrange shuttle.  12.4 miles from Quapaw Landing to downtown Clarksdale.

Leave A Comment

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
St. Francis to Helena
652.5 LBD Friars Point Landing (Unimproved)
652 – 650 LBD Friars Point Island
671 – 673 LBD St. Francis Bar
670 LBD St. Francis Dikes
669 LBD Flower Lake Dikes
668 RBD (A View Of) Crowley’s Ridge
668 – 663 RBD Buck Island (Prairie Point Towhead)
665.5 LBD Trotter’s Pass
663 RBD Helena Harbor
Helena Boat Ramps  
663 RBD Helena-West Helena
Quapaw Canoe Company – Helena Outpost  
661 Helena Bridge (Hernando De Soto Bridge – US HWY 49)
657 Yazoo Pass
Helena to Island 63
663 LBD Leaving Helena Harbor
Fleeted Barges  
Small Towns in Harbors  
Buoys and Other Stationary Objects  
Highlights of Civilizations  
Wild Miles  
Pollution Within the Helena Industrial Reach  
661.6 Helena Bridge (Hernando De Soto Bridge – US HWY 49)
657 LBD Yazoo Pass
How to Get Into the Old Entrance of the Yazoo Pass  
LBD Alternate Route to Vicksburg: Yazoo Pass
Yazoo Pass Mileage  
Rivers & Robert Johnson  
656 LBD East Motezuma Bar
657 – 654 RBD Montezuma Towhead
654.7 LBD Montezuma Landing
Shuttle Route Montezuma to Clarksdale  
652 LBD Friars Point
652.5 LBD Friars Point Landing (Unimproved)
652 – 650 LBD Friars Point Island
Beavers on the Lower Mississippi River  
652.2 RBD Kangaroo Point
648 LBD Horseshoe
646 – 649 RBD Dewberry Island 61
646 – 642 Old Town Bend
641 – 635 LBD Island 62
640.5 – 637 LBD Island 63
640.5 LBD Entrance to Top End of Island 63 Chute
637.5 LBD Entrance Into Bottom End of Island 63 Chute
637 LBD Back Channel Island 63
Quapaw Landing  
Island 63 to Hurricane
Muddy Waters Wilderness  
637 LBD Back Channel Island 63
Quapaw Landing  
Old Levee at Quapaw  
Levee Break Below Quapaw Landing  
Great Flood of 2011  
637.5 LBD Island 63 Chute
636 LBD Burke’s Point
The Flanking Maneuver  
634 RBD Modoc Old River Lake
632 LBD Robson Towhead
632.5 RBD Fair Landing
Jackson Cutoff  
Sunflower Cutoff  
625.6 RBD Mouth of the Mellwood Lake
624 – 627 LBD Sunflower Dikes
Diving Duck  
624.5 LBD Mouth of De Soto Lake
621 – 624 LBD Jug Harris Towhead
620.8 RBD Mouth of the Chute of Island 68
619 – 621 LBD Island 68
619 – 621 LBD Island 67
619.6 BD Wood Cottage
620 – 617 RBD Old Levee at Knowlton
616 LBD Knowlton Crevasse
619 – 609 RBD Island 69
615.5 RBD Island 69 Old Back Channel
616 – 614 LBD Cession’s Towhead
610 LBD Hurricane Pint (Dennis Landing)
Hurricane to Rosedale
605 – 610 LBD Island 70
The River Mirage Effect  
604 – 601 LBD Henrico Sandbar
603 – 597 Scrubgrass Bend
601.5 – 598 LBD Smith Point Sandbar
600.5 LBD Entrance
598 LBD Exit
Secret Channel Behind Smith Point Sandbar  
599 RBD Mouth of the White River
The White River  
Montgomery Point Lock & Dam  
At the Mouth of the White River  
How Does a Lock Work?  
Arkansas River: Little Rock, Fort Smith, Tulsa  
White River National Wildlife Refuge  
597.5 – 580 RBD Big Island
596 – 594 Victoria Bend
592.1 LBD Terrence Landing
597.5 RBD Entrance
591 LBD Exit
RBD Near Mile 3 of the Old Channel of the White  
Wreck of the Victor?  
Old Channel of the White  
Arkansas City Gage (AG)  
591 – 587 LBD Great River Road State Park
587 – 584.5 LBD Malone Field (Barge Fleeting Area)
594.5 LBD Mouth of the Rosedale Harbor
Rosedale Harbor  
Rosedale, Mississippi  
Rosedale to Arkansas City
Arkansas City Gage  
585 – 580 RBD Arkansas Bar
580 RBD Arkansas River
Paddling Past the Mouth of the Arkansas  
A Detour Up & Down the Arkansas  
Island Hopping  
The Floating Sensation  
Circumnavigation of the Big Island (52 Miles; 5-7 Days)  
Below the Arkansas Confluence  
581 – 576 LBD Prentiss Sandbar
578.4 RBD Napoleon Light
574.5 LBD Mouth of Lake Whittington
575.8 RBD Caulk Eddy
575 – 572.5 RBD Caulk Neck Bar
576 – 572 Caulk Neck Cutoff
572 – 567 Cypress Bend
Cypress Bend – Pallid Sturgeon  
571 – 567 Catfish Point Bar
568 RBD Chicot Landing
Reading Google Maps  
Approaching Choctaw Island  
Choctaw Island Geomorphology  
564 – 558 Chocktaw Bar Island
Note on Low-Water Camping  
Arkansas City Boat Ramp  
561.7 LBD Easton Landing – Mounds Boat Ramp
560.5 LBD Mounds Landing
Addendum: Take-Out in Greenville or Lake Village  
Best Campsites Along the Lower Mississippi Water Trail  
End of Trail  
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