The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail
There is a primitive Public Landing at the confluence of the Mississippi and St. Francis Rivers, accessible from Helena via the “low road” County Road 239. Put in at your own risk using a sandy turnaround and steep river bank that is sometimes sandy, sometimes muddy. Vehicles often get stuck here, so inspect first and then drive in. Layers of sand often disguise underlying layers of thick gooey mud, much to the chagrin of unaware paddlers and fishermen. Popular fish spot, camping spot, party spot. Never leave a vehicle unattended overnight. Probably safe day parking if you’re making a daytrip up the St. Francis or down the Mississippi to Helena. You could also camp here but you might have company.
Primitive landing at the mouth of the St. Francis River – Conditions:
Low Water 0-20HG: steep muddy bank
Med Water 20-30HG: easiest access
High Water 30-40HG: landing disappears around 35HG
Flood Water above 44HG: entire access road goes under around 40 HG
From Helena you can drive to the mouth of the St. Francis by going north out of town on Franklin Street, cut over one block east and continue north on Holly Street which becomes the Sterling Road or the “Low Road” County Road 239. The Low Road is closed above 45HG due to flood water.
Three Mile Ramp
RBD 3 miles up St. Francis River
There is a good concrete three miles above the confluence on the St. Francis that paddlers have named the Three Mile Ramp. Access is further up the Low Road. Situated between two ravines cascading down Crowley’s Ridge with a shady turnaround, the Three Mile Ramp becomes dangerously steep below 10HG, and bottoms out completely into muddy ooze of unplumbed depth around 5HG. Best used between 10 and 40 HG. This landing goes completely under at flood stage 44HG.
Possible primitive campsite at the confluence in a pretty location, but you might be sharing it with fishermen, hunters, and/or midnight revelers. Particularly on weekends. Not a safe place to leave your vehicle overnight unattended.