The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

Natchez to St. Francisville

287.5 LBD Greenwood Dune

Greenwood Dune is another small dune of a sandbar, located a mile below the Greenwood Light.  Hunting Camp behind, wear orange in season, and avoid woods.

 

287.5 - 284 LBD Little Island

Little Island is found left bank descending so close along the riverbank that it is hard to tell the difference between it and the shore.  If it is that time of day and you are ready to rest your paddle-weary arms, slide over to this side of the river and stop at the first place that catches your eye.  In general it’s best to stay towards the top end, as the bottom end opens up to a very active hunting and shooting club of the “Dukes of Hazard” type.  In low water big, broad sand flats extend in all directions, especially upstream.  Good for calm weather camping, but a long ways to find firewood.   As the water rises the choices become more limited, but more protected and more interesting.  At medium water 25NG a long slice of sand is found top end with good camping, but by 40 it is almost gone save for a last sloping piece below the cut mud towhead and trees above.  The forest here is almost impenetrable, so in high water levels you will want to look further downstream in the back channel where big dunes of sand have been thrown into the woods along either bank.  At the very bottom of the island is another thin peninsula of sand like the top end, but spotted with tall cottonwoods and sycamores.  The dry sand at bottom end disappears around 40NG.

 

283.3 LBD Sebastopol

Paddlers will want to avoid camping anywhere near this noisy hunting camp (noisy, as in lots of gunfire).

 

281.5 RBD Below Burnette Point

An opening through the riverbank leads into some scrubby floodplain wetlands, open around 20NG.

 

281.5 - 280.5 RBD New Tex Landing

Short skinny bar that is often muddy.  Dry up to 25NG.  Your best bet would be to continue to another more sandy location, but if it’s getting dark or weather coming in and you need to land in a hurry, this would suffice.  If you’re listening to VHF marine radio you’ll hear tow pilots orient each other with the name “New Tex” as a reference location for their navigation.


281 - 278 Morgans Bend (Iowa Point)

This isolated bend swirling 180 degrees around Iowa Point used to be a good place for paddlers to stop along its perimeter for highwater camping, but in recent years has degenerated into a series of busy hunting camps that you’ll want to avoid.  In low or medium water watch for and avoid big tows going into the flanking maneuver around these tight bends.

 

If it wasn’t for the Loess Bluffs the Mississippi would probably never reach the Gulf of Mexico.   After flipping directions around Iowa Point, the Mississippi seems intent on running due East, as if it’s trying to reach the Atlantic instead.   All rivers like to wander through their landscape as far as they can wander.  Like a child exploring its boundaries, flowing water is well known as the ultimate example of the creative work of the creator.  Even big rivers. Mathematicians can’t describe them, physicists can’t predict them, even the best hydrologists ultimately yield normal concise scientific understanding to the employment of vague chaotic patterns and turbulence theory for description.  t would probably be best to learn about rivers through observation, like Leonardo DaVinci, who explored the unexplainable with his pen & ink studies.   The Mississippi is especially prone to the wanderlust spirit by nature.  Its muddy substrate seems to encourage this kind of extreme meandering.  After revolving through Morgan’s Bend, the big river runs around St. Maurice Island and continues Eastward to St. Francisville, and would keep on driving onward towards the rising sun if not for the Mississippi Loess Bluffs, here gently sloping towards the floodplain from Blues Highway 61.

 

278.5 - 277.8 LBD Iowa Point Bottom End of Morgan’s Bar

This is the only place along Morgan’s Bend that you’d want to stop and make a camp.  It’s removed from the busy hunter’s lodges further up the bend, and it would be a good one at low and medium water levels, and well into high water, probably up to around 40NG