The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

Arkansas City Gage (AG) 

We will now switch over to the Arkansas City Gage (AG) for this section downstream of Rosedale.   The Arkansas City Gage gage is located 24 miles downstream of the mouth of the Arkansas River at mile 554.


Low Water = -13 to 13 AG

Medium Water = 14 to 29 AG

High Water = 29 to 36 AG

Flood Stage = 37 AG and above


LBD 591 – 587 Great River Road State Park

(Note: closed since the 2011 Flood, but supposed to reopen in 2012).  There are hot showers and other camper conveniences at Great River State Park, but be aware that the park is built for vehicle access, not river access.  This is not a good place to put-in or take-out unless the river level is just right, around 30-35 AG.  Even at high water levels, when the river is running close to the edge of the park, you will have to portage your canoe (or hide it and lug your gear) to reach the campsites.  At high water this portage might be several hundred yards, but at low water you would have to cross one mile of loose sand to reach the park.  Not a good idea unless you like self-torture.  If you need some cleanup and personal hygiene you might as well make camp close to the river’s edge somewhere along the bottom end of the sandbar and then walk in for showers.  A five-story tower was built at the park with good views of the river upstream and down, but in recent years it has been closed due to disrepair.  The 2011 flood was not kind to the park, but recent news reports say that it will be rebuilt and remain open.  Call State Park for the latest information at (662)759-6762.


For the paddler seeking a good campsite, the river side of Great River Road State Park never closes, because primitive camping is found along a series of bluffs at the bottom end of the Terrene Sandbar in between mile 592 and 593.  There you will find the elements of the ideal campsite: easy access, protection, and good views.  At low water you might have to climb a steep bank to reach flat sites, but as the water rises access gets easier, above 13AG you will be able to pull into one of many charming inlets that form in between the sandy bluffs.  These inlets become flowing channels above 23AG but good camping is still to be had until the water gets to 33AG, when you will be best advised to continue downstream to the Arkansas Bar for dry camping.


LBD 587 to 584.5 Malone Field (Barge Fleeting Area)

Most of the force of the river gets pushed out towards Big Island around the Terrene Dikes and a long slow-water area is found left bank descending below Great River Road State, sometimes pooling completely.  A large eddy often forms near the last point LBD at mile 587 and the water pools below.  If you have made a stop on the tallest bluffs bottom end of the above when you are ready to return to the river inspect the channel below and watch carefully downstream as you pull out.  Large tows pull up to the bank in this area for fleeting services out of the Rosedale Harbor, and then pull back out into the river.  You will see tows in places you don’t usually see them, and there is no schedule to their activity.  They run when they are packed completely with barges and then take off.  Best practice: listen to VHF channel 13.  Tow pilots will announce their intentions before pulling out.  When the coast is clear paddle hard from the Mississippi shore and head over towards Big Island RBD and make you travel down the right side of the channel.  Not only will you will be the furthest away from any tow activity, but you will also enjoy the fastest current. 


LBD 584.5 Mouth of the Rosedale Harbor

The best boat ramp in the area is found two miles up the Rosedale Harbor.  Better maintained and easier access than Terrene landing.  Possibly re-supply point.  Its a 2 mile hike to reach the town of Rosedale for food & water.  Safest parking of any boat ramp in the area, but there is no guarantee.  As with all boat ramps along the Lower Mississippi River its best to arrange a shuttle if you are doing anything longer than a day trip.  [CLICK HERE: for shuttling options].


The entrance to the harbor is found deep within Rosedale Bend.  The Mouth of the harbor will be near impossible to discern from the surrounding left bank descending as you approach from above.  Look for small tows leaving & entering.  If you are intending to enter the harbor approach bank left as you pass mile 585 and float along one to two hundred yards off shore until you see it and then paddle on in using the eddy to your advantage.  (Note: this is a balancing act for paddlers: if you stay too close to shore you will be paddling deadwater.  If you stay in the fast water too far off shore you will miss the entrance!).  A fluctuating eddy is found at the mouth of the harbor, circulating counterclockwise from bird’s-eye-view.  [CLICK HERE: using the eddy to your advantage].

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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
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