The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

Natchez to St. Francisville

278.8 RBD Cement Silo

The tall cement silo at RBD 278.8 is a river monument of uncertain origin, with a sizeable dune found in a rip-rap alcove below.   During high water the eddy currents here, and along this whole portion of Morgan’s Bend can be treacherous, especially after the passage of upstream towboat.

277.2 RBD Morganza Crevasse

The Mississippi River broke the levee here in the flood of 1890, making a mess out everything downstream and to the west, including the enormous Atchafalaya basin to the west.

 

276.6 RBD Protected Dune

A graceful curved sandy dune is found RBD several miles below the cement silo with great protection from southerly weather, and a lovely copse of American sycamores and elms all around.  Dry sand found here in low to medium waters, and open forest with sandy bottoms up to high water 40NG.

 

275.5 RBD Before Boies Point “Hidey Hole”

There is a narrow “hidey hole” is found deep within a slot in the riverbank above Boies Point at approximately 275.5 RBD.  If a south wind is threatening your progress, and a line of severe thunderstorms approaching, you could take temporary refuge here. Not recommended for camping.  To find it you will have to ride the right bank closely and look careful for the cut.  One blink of the eye and you’ll miss it.  Warning: Not a good place to be after a rainstorm -- flash flooding might occur at the bottom of this drainage.  Drains directly to levee, which is about 1/4 mile beyond riverbank.

 

276 - 275 LBD Collapsing Muddy Banks

As you come around Morgan’s Bend you will discern a golden yellow color that at first could be mistaken for a rough sandbar.  It’s not sand.  It’s a collapsing steep muddy bank that is composed of creamy yellow mud, and is a sign of the river eating the left bank descending.  A gravel road and a power line runs above, and is collapsing also, or will in the near future, with the next flood.  Maybe this natural erosion will add some temperance to the profusion of hunting camps sprouting around the entire length of this otherwise pristine bend of the river.

 

275 - 270 LBD Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge

Paddlers have a unique opportunity to walk up to one of the largest and oldest trees in the south, the co-champion bald cypress of North America.  If the river is high you can paddle all the way, but it will have to be bank full 30BG or higher.  If it is below 30BG you will have to make a landing somewhere and walk.  One of the best places to make a quick stop and hide your vessel is within the shady overhanging trees at the mouth of Hardwick’s Ditch at 272.4 left bank descending.

 

Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge is home to the largest tree of any species east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. At an impressive height of 96 feet, a diameter of 17 feet and a circumference of 56 feet, it is truly a sight to behold. The tree is estimated to be approximately 1,500 years old. Visitors may view the tree by way of the Big Cypress Trail, a .75 mile round-trip trail through a unique mixture of bottomland hardwood forest on flat terrain.