The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

665.5 LBD Trotter’s Pass

A beautiful side trip into a primeval world where you can paddle as far as you feel comfortable doing so.  Round Trip: paddle into Trotter’s Pass and then turn around and paddle back and continue your journey downstream the main channel. 


How to find Trotters: As you are coming downstream around the outside edge of Buck Island keep to the far outside edge of the Flower Lake Bend and watch carefully as you paddle for the tiny slot opening at approximately mile 665.5.  You probably won’t see it until you’re right on top of it.  At low water it’s just a narrow muddy inlet that the local beavers maintain for their use.  During low water make landing and inspect by foot.  The water starts flowing inwards (on a rising river) at around 12HG.  At 16HG there will be a twenty to thirty foot wide channel through which you can easily paddle up into Trotter Lake, although sometimes this channel is blocked by massive piles of driftwood.  Almost always the persistent paddler can find a way around these rafts of driftwood, but be prepared for adventure if you proceed! 


Also known as Old River Chute and Trotter’s Landing.  This is an old channel of the Mississippi, now cut off by levees, which winds its way parallel to the current main channel up to Trotter’s Lake.  During high water levels access all the way north to Tunica Lake could be afforded more adventurous paddlers via Nail’s Bayou, which would take you in a deep woods route behind the now land-locked Helena Island.  Bring your machete and GPS.


663 RBD Helena Harbor

Paddler’s Note: the most prominent landmark in the Helena area is the Helena Bridge, but don’t go there (yet)!  The Helena Harbor is almost two miles above the bridge.  If you’re looking to make a landing for access to boat ramps & downtown Helena, be sure to turn into the harbor!  (Also, this is the Old Helena Harbor — not to be confused with the more recently constructed Helena Slackwater Harbor, which is in the middle of nowhere 15 miles downstream)


You may not see the Harbor opening until you are right on top of it, but you will see the signs of civilization rising above the tree line with radio towers, cell towers, docking facilities, grain elevators and such.  Closer up look for the Mile 663 Green Mile Marker (Green Square).  The harbor opening is 200 yards downstream on the right bank descending.  You will see a flat parkland, and a road, and then a boardwalk reaching out to the river’s edge.  This is the Helena River Park.  You can camp in the willows here during low water.  Low water results in a rocky climb over the rip-rap to get there, but bank full (35HG) you can sail into the trees and pick out the best spots.  During King Biscuit Festival hundreds of campers fill the park and enjoy live blues — annually held during the 2nd full weekend of October.   The Helena River Park was recently upgraded with a series of interpretive panels designed and implemented under the oversight of the National Audubon Society.

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
Memphis to Tunica
736 LBD Memphis, Tennessee, Mud Island Harbor
Buoys and Docks  
Floating Underneath a Bridge  
734.7 Lower Bridges/Engineer’s Bar
734.7 The Frisco Bridge
734.7 The Harahan Bridge
734.7 The Ghost Bunker
734.7 The Old Bridge (Memphis & Arkansas Bridge)
733 President’s Island
Fleeted Barges  
732 LBD Hole in the Wall ##2
727.3 TVA Transmission Lines
727.3 RBD The Wreck of the Raft
Tennessee Valley Authority  
725.5 LBD Entrance to McKellar Lake
7 Miles Up harbor Riverside Park Marina On McKellar Lake  
724 T.E. Maxon Wastewater Treatement Facility
Paddler’s Routes Below Memphis  
727 – 712 Dismal Point/Ensley Bar/Cow Island Bend Area
726 – 717 Armstrong/Dismal Point/Ensley Bar
720 Josie Harry Bar
718 – 713 Cow Island Bend
Goodbye Tennessee, Hullo Mississippi  
The Yazoo-Mississippi Delta and the Blues  
711 – 705 Cat Island No.50
710.8 LBD Starr Landing
712 – 695 Paddler’s Routes Around Cat Island and the Casinos
Pickett Dikes Back Channel  
639.8 RBD Tunica Riverpark Museum Boat Ramp
Tunica Riverpark Museum  
Basket Bar Dikes/Porter lake Dikes  
693.8 RBD Lost Lake Pass
703 Buck Island (No. 53)
701 Gold Strike Casino
700 Fitzgerald’s Casino
Tunica to Helena
700 Basket Bar
Paddler’s Routes Through Commerce and Mhoon Bends  
695 – 690 Commerce Bend
692.5 RBD Peter’s Boat Ramp
690 Rabbit Island
Switching to thhe Helena Gage  
Dikes and Water Levels  
687.5 Mhoon Landing
689 – 685 Mhoon Bar
690 – 683 Mhoon Bend
682 – 679 Whiskey Chute/Walnut Bend
680 Whitehall Crevasse
Paddler’s Routes Below Walnut Bend  
Stumpy Island, Shoo Fly Bar and Tunica Lake  
Main Channel  
677.4 LBD Tunica Runout
Behind Shoo Fly Bar  
Stumpy Island  
Walnut Bend Boat Ramp  
Tunica Lake Boat Ramp  
679 RBD Walnut Bend Boat Ramp
679 – 677 Hardin Cut-Off
677.4 LBD Pass Into Tunica Lake
677 – 676 Shoo Fly Bar
677 – 674 Stumpy Island
674.5 Harbert Point
672 RBD Mouth of the St. Francis River
Primitive Landing at the Mouth of the St. Francis Rive – Conditions  
RBD 3 Miles up St. Francis River Three Mile Ramp
Daytrip: St. Francis to Helena  
St. Francis to Helena: Paddler’s Descriptions  
For Intermedite Paddlers: Right Bank Route  
For Expert Paddlers: Left Bank Route  
St. Francis River  
671 – 673 LBD St. Francis Bar
669 LBD Flower Lake Dikes
668 RBD (A View of) Crowley’s Ridge D
668-663 RBD Buck Island (Prairie Point Towhead)
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  
Helena’s “Low Road” Into St. Francis National Forest  
King Biscuit Blues Festival (2nd Week of October)  
Helena to Friars
661.6 Helena Bridge (Hernando De Soto Bridge – US HWY 49)
663 RBD Leaving Helena Harbor
Fleeted Barges  
Small Towns in Harbors  
Buoys and Other Stationary Objects  
Highlights of Civilization  
Pollution Within the Helena Industrial Reach  
661.6 Helena Bridge (Hernando De Soto Bridge – US HWY 49)
657 LBD  
How to Get Into the Old Entrance of the Yazoo Pass  
LBD: Alternate Route to Vicksburg: Yazoo Pass  
Yazoo Pass Milage  
Rivers & Robert Johnson  
656 LBD East Montezuma Bar
657 – 654 RBD Montezuma Towhead
654.7 LBD Montezuma Landing
Shuttle Route Montezuma to Clarksdale  
652 LBD Friars Point
652.2 LBD Friars Point Landing (Unimproved)
What’s to Come Further Downstream  
Middle Delta 663 – 537 HELENA TO GREENVILLE
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