The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

As such, Helena is the most logical place for a stop-over and resupply for the long distance paddler, and the best choice in the region as a one-stop push off location to base your Lower Mississippi Water Trail adventure from.  (see below for second choice Clarksdale, Mississippi, which is located 10 miles inland from the river).  Conveniences like the Post Office, Groceries, Book Store and the Library can all be found within walking distance, but be sure to hide or secure your canoe when you leave to walk into town.  If you’re traveling in a team leave someone as guard.  For Wi-Fi visit the library or the Delta Cultural Center.  If you’re staying overnight in one of the many B&Bs, or need transportation anywhere, call Quapaw Canoe Company (870) 228-2266 for assistance.  Recommended high quality overnight: Edwardian Inn.  Tell them we sent you for a special paddler’s 10% discount.


You will want to visit the Delta Cultural Center in downtown Helena, just over the levee from the Harbor.  There are two annexes, both dedicated to the history & culture of the Delta, and both definitely worth the extra hour or two for a visit.  If you arrive mid-day, you can sit in on one of Sunshine Sonny Payne’s legendary King Biscuit Time Radio Program on AM1360, which broadcasts live from the Delta Cultural Center every day Monday-Friday from 12:15 – 12:45pm.


For all around Helena information, visit the new website  Helena happenings of interest to paddlers: Farmers’ Market April – October, Second Saturday April- September, Warfield Concerts September – May, King Biscuit Festival second weekend in October, Wild Hog Motorcycle and Music Festival last weekend in April, Civil War Museum, Freedom Park, the Ft. Curtis replica, and much more. The Phillips County

Visitor and Relocation Guide has everything in it you could possible want to know about Helena and the County. Go to the website to look through the Guide at


[CLICK HERE: Helena Accommodations]


[CLICK HERE: Helena Services]


Quapaw Canoe Company — Helena Outpost

Quapaw Canoe Company is located just over the levee from the River Park at 107 Perry Street with a 5,000 square foot warehouse full of canoes, kayaks and stand up paddleboards.  QCC keeps river maps, county maps and state maps, and also books, magazines and other literature of interest to the big river paddler.  Paddler’s support equipment such as paddles, life jackets, ropes, bailers, sponges, and etc.  QCC offers workshops on Big River Canoe & Kayak Safety, as well as self-rescue and canoe building.  QCC works with the local KIPP Delta Public Schools in an after-school canoeing program.  Shuttles, re-supply, storage and any other services for the paddler can be found here.  (870) 228-2266.

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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
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