The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

St. Francisville to Baton Rouge

Resupply from Intercostal Waterway Boat Ramp (Under Hwy 1)

Your best resupply on the West bank of the river, from Port Allen, would be the Walmart Supercenter south of the Intercostal Waterway about a half-mile on Louisiana Highway 1.  Lock through the Port Allen Lock & Dam, and make landing at the Boat Ramp, on the north bank underneath Hwy 1 just past Lock & Dam.  One stop shopping for everything you might need.  If you have no desire to see Baton Rouge, and don’t mind locking through twice, this would be a good option.

 

Walmart Supercenter

255 La Highway 1 South

Port Allen, LA

(225) 749-7455

 

Note: you could possibly access this Walmart Supercenter from a primitive landing RBD mile 227.3, but you would have to slip in behind fleeted barges, tows and freighters that might be parked within the “Baton Rouge General Harbor” RBD 228-226.  At low or medium water find the best place to make landing. It’s a shorter walk than the route above, and no locking necessary.  After landing, pull your vessel out of the water and walk up dirt road across batture, and over levee.  This dirt road runs straight into paved Hwy 988 (Beaulieu Lane).  Walk quarter mile east to Hwy 1.  Walmart Supercenter will be prominently visible across the fields to the north.  In high water above 30BG you could paddle right up to the levee!

 

227.4 LBD LSU

The Louisiana State University(LSU) campus extends to the River here and a large area of the batture is kept mowed into a nice big green space that stays dry until ?? feet BRG. There is a little park on top of the levee with flags that you can see from the river. There are paved stairs and ramps down the land side of the levee leading down to River Road and Skip Bertman Drive. The LSU Veterinary School is the big building just on the other side of River Road and A walk down Skip Bertman Drive will take you right to “Death Valley” the LSU football stadium and onto the LSU campus proper.  The field here should make a good camping spot when the river is below ??.  (LMRK)


Baton Rouge Gage (BG)

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/lmrfc/?n=lmrfc-mississippiandohioriverforecast

 

Water levels according to the Baton Rouge Gage (BG)

Low Water = 0 to 12 BG 

Medium Water = 12 to 22 BG

High Water = 22 to 35 BG

Bank Full = 30 BG

Flood Stage = 35 BG  and above

(BG = Baton Rouge Gage)

 

Flood Stage Warning: above 35BG paddlers are advised to stay off the river.  Limited access.  Most landings and approach roads will be underwater.  Most islands will be gone.  No easy camping.  All sandbars will be covered.  Fast waters with many hazards.  All islands and landings will be surrounded by flooded forests full of snags, strainers, sawyers and all other dangerous conditions associated with floodwater moving through trees.  Docks, wharves, dikes and any other man-made objects will create strong whirlpools, violent boils, and fast eddies.  Towboats will create large waves.  The Rivergator will not describe the river and its islands at any levels above flood stage. 

 

Leaving Baton Rouge and heading downstream

If you’ve gotten this far, to the port of Baton Rouge, congratulations, you’re doing good!  Now you’re ready to continue on downstream into the most extreme concentration of riverside industry outside of the German Ruhr on the Rhine.   Keep it up, whatever you’re doing.  Exercise caution in all grey areas, stay on shore when uncertain, and employ sailor’s sixth sense.