The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail
About “Cancer Alley”:
This charming term for the South Louisiana river parishes got a lot of play during the 1980s, especially after an epidemiologist named Vivien Chen reported an elevated incidence of lung cancer among white males here, mainly in New Orleans. Interestingly, white females and minorities of either sex did not show elevated lung cancer rates, meaning that the effect might be better explained by patterns in cigarette smoking than by exposure to industrial chemicals. Dr. Chen and other researchers later reported that, for most other cancers, incidence here is lower than or equal to that of the rest of the country. At this point, it’s worth noting a distinction between incidence and mortality. Many of these cancers have elevated mortality rates in South Louisiana, even without elevated incidence. This may be an indication of the quality of public health care here. Bottom line: If you’re worried about cancer, the time to worry is before you get here. Protect your skin from solar radiation with long sleeves, floppy hats, gloves, and (not or) sunscreen. Far too many paddlers arrive in Baton Rouge looking like a bunch of raw hamburger gone bad. (Mike Beck)
Possible Highwater Campsites along the Lower Mississippi River
Baton Rouge to New Orleans
All of this information will be updated in the 2015 edition of the Rivergator www.rivergator.org. The below list Indicates places that might have a piece of dry flat sand to make a stop, stretch your legs, have a quiet picnic, or pitch a tent, and stands high enough to make a safe camp during times of high water.
Warning: most of these places go under if the river is above Flood Stage in Baton Rouge (35.0). RBD = Right Bank Descending (“West Bank”), LBD = Left Bank Descending (“East Bank”).
? = unverified means I haven’t actually witnessed this location during highwater. Please send updates and add to list! John Ruskey. Quapaw Canoe Co. firstname.lastname@example.org. (662) 902-7841. Thank You!
Human foot-traffic (fishermen) possible
First and best “remote” feeling camp below Baton Rouge
Bar above Plaquemines LBD >20
Nice Sandbar mid channel, only exposed at medium or below.
Plaquemines LBD >30
Sand & Gravel Bar, sand collection operation behind, drydock nearby
Bayou Goula Sandbar LBD >25
Last real island on the Lower Mississippi River! Forested island with sandbars becoming exposed around 20, huge sandbars 15 or below.
Point Claire LBD >35
Huge open Sandbar
Eighty-One Mile Point LBD >30
Tall Sandbar, Gravel Operations behind
Pt. Houmas >30
Possible cattle grazing nearby & some industry behind
College Point >30?
Great Camp, no visible industry
Pauline Bar (Magnolia Landing) LBD >30
Beautiful undulating dunes & willow thickets. Owned by a very paddler friendly, the Poches. Contact them ahead of time if at all possible for support in this stretch of river.
Belle Point LBD >30?
Small high point inside eddy at Marquez
Bonnet Carre Island >25?
Last Island on the Mississippi River
Thirty-Five Mile Point LBD >30?
Small Gravel & Shell landing with woods behind
Bonnet Carre Upper LBD >40
Camping along spur of levee at top end of Spillway
Bonnet Carre Lower LBD >40
Camping along spur of levee at bottom end of Spillway
*Note: Boat Ramp. No more public launches until Venice.
Opposite Twelve Mile Point RBD >35?
Possible Camp above refineries
Beware of unfriendly foot traffic! Never leave your vessel or gear unattended here.
The Moonwalk — French Quarter and French Market
Restaurants, Pubs, Groceries. Concrete staircase over rip-rap. It’s not a boat landing, and no camping here. But, could be a temporary stop. Never leave your vessel or gear unattended here.
Mouth of Baptiste Collette Bayou
Beautiful bluff of sand
Beware waves. Heavy oil rig traffic through Bayou.
Mouth of Grand Pass
Possible slivers of sand in low water. Cattle grazing on island.