The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

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 (AKA Battle Axe 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.

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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