The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail
Quapaw is the closest landing to Clarksdale, Mississippi, the unrivaled blues capital of the mid- south. Every night Tuesday through Sunday live blues music can be heard at one of many different venues including sho-‘nuf authentic down-home juke joints like Red’s as well as larger club venues like Ground Zero Blues Club (which is partially-owned by actor Morgan Freeman). Clarksdale thrives with an incredible variety of eateries and superb overnight accommodations drenched with zealous Delta character. Many paddlers choose the renovated shotgun shacks at the Shack Up Inn. Clarksdale is the home of the world-famous Delta Blues Museum which should be the top-of-the-list for anyone making a visit. Clarksdale is also the home base of the Lower Mississippi River experts at Quapaw Canoe Company (offering full-spectrum support for any paddler’s needs from guiding & outfitting to shuttling to rentals). Owl’s Roost Tree House is reserved for paddlers. Best Bet for high quality overnights: Clark House B&B. Tell them we sent you for the paddler’s 10% discount! www.clarkhouse.com Wifi can be found at the Library, Miss Dell’s or Yazoo Pass Cafe. Miss Dell’s sells good cheeses, hard sausages, and artisian French bread and multi-grain breads. The Carnegie Public Library has an excellent exhibit of the Native American populations of the area with pottery, artifacts, maps and paintings depicting the pre-Columbian region. Upstairs in the Children’s room is a cottonwood dugout canoe that kids pile into with books for the afternoon. The library card logo is two voyageurs paddling a canoe, maybe Joliett & Marquette? Needless to say this library is paddler friendly!
Blues Festivals: If your timing is right, you can paddle into Quapaw Landing and make a weekend furlough into Clarksdale for one or two of the best blues festivals in land where the blues was born:
1) The Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival is the purest blues festival in the nation, bringing in the artists who live & work in the Mississippi/Arkansas Delta areas and in many ways are simultaneously living the blues and also keeping the blues alive. 2nd full weekend in August. Free and family friendly. www.sunflowerfest.org
2) Juke Joint Festival turns downtown Clarksdale into a free-for-all music & arts & food extravaganza, every corner bursting with the sound of street musicians, at night the jukes open their doors and in some places it turns into an all night party. Lots of activities for kids like a petting zoo and Monkey’s Riding Pigs, a climbing wall, and face painting. Juke Joint is always the first weekend after Easter, which means it is tied into to the Full Willow Moon (you may recall Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox unless the full moon is on the equinox in which case it is after the following full moon). www.jukejointfestival.com
Directions to Clarksdale from Quapaw Landing:
Drive over old levee and go left on old levee road (gravel)
Head east on Old Levee Road (Burke’s Point Road)
Continue straight over big levee onto Farrell Rd (paved)
Continue straight over Mississippi Hwy 1 and follow short dog leg
Turn left onto Farrell to Stovall Rd
Turn right onto Stovall Rd
Continue straight onto Oakhurst Ave
Oakhurst becomes Riverside Ave
Take the 1st left onto 1st Street
Go over Sunflower River Bridge
Take the 1st right onto Sunflower Ave
You are now in downtown Clarksdale
2 blocks south on Sunflower to 3rd & Sunflower
Quapaw Canoe Company is located at 279 Sunflower
Total: 12.4 mi – about 34 mins
Directions to Quapaw from Clarksdale
If you are already in Clarksdale and need directions to Quapaw here are the directions in reverse: The shortest and best route route to Quapaw Landing from Downtown Clarksdale is through Farrell. 12.4 miles total via 1st Street Bridge, right on Riverside Drive which becomes Oakhurst, follow that straight out of Clarksdale onto the Stovall Road and then take a left on Farrell Road through Farrell. From there drive straight out and over the levee, onto gravel surface Old Levee Road (Burke’s Point Road) and follow to the 2nd gravel road on the right over old levee, Quapaw Landing is marked with large brown sign.
Additional Topics to be added later to Clarksdale: Cat Head Music & Arts, Sunflower River, Restaurants & Accommodations, other festivals.
[CLICK HERE: for shuttling contacts in Clarksdale].