The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

Tunica to Helena

Stumpy Island

Follow RBD route below Walnut Bend two miles and during high water paddle behind the small island with a short chute behind.  Excellent picnicking or camping can be found all water levels.

 

Walnut Bend Boat Ramp

Functional but primitive boat ramp located in a strategic place right bank descending at the bottom of Walnut Bend.  Partly revetment, partly gravel, partly rock.  Located on the Arkansas bank on the edge of a giant eddy.

 

Tunica Lake Boat Ramp

Public Boat Ramp on Northeast corner of lake off Charlie Lane in the Tunica Cutoff Community.  Wide concrete ramp with safe parking.  Thirteen mile flat-water paddle through the Runout to reach the open river.

 

RBD 679 Walnut Bend Boat Ramp

A functional but primitive boat ramp located in a strategic place right bank descending at the bottom of Walnut Bend.  Partly revetment, partly gravel, partly rock.  Located on the Arkansas bank on the edge of a giant eddy.  Those needing to make landing can swirl around the eddy and pull back to bank with the circular motion.  Those headed out from the landing can put in and follow the flow back upstream to where the opposing waters meet at the edge of the eddy and dive into the strong downstream current wherever an inviting opening shows itself.  Note: try to wait until you see an outpouring of water into the big water, maybe around a small whirlpool.  It will make the entry into the main channel much easier.  It is approximately a ten mile walk, mostly on the gravel top of the Arkansas levee, to the nearest town (Marianna).  Three miles down the levee you will cross the St. Francis River at the Huxtabee Pumping Station.  This freshwater pumping station was very busy during the flood of 2011.  When the Mississippi River rises they shut the gates down and close off the St. Francis to prevent back flooding.  As the waters of the St. Francis backs up behind the Arkansas levee they turn a switch and ignite the Huxtabee to pump the water back over the levee.  Such are the complications of families, farms and floodplains in the Mississippi Delta. 

 

679-677 Hardin Cut-Off

The main channel of the Mississippi explodes out of Walnut Bend and into a five mile southerly run through Hardin Cut-Off towards the mouth of the St. Francis.   Here you will get your first views of Crowley’s Ridge, which meets the Mississippi at Helena.  The faint line of trees in the far distance a little higher than the rest is the top of the ridge.  It’s an impressive view with the river bouncing back and forth in between Shoo Fly Bar, Harbert Point and Stumpy Island.  The St. Francis confluence is just below Stumpy Island.