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Quapaw Canoe Company Natchez Outpost

Expeditions from Vicksburg, Natchez, Vidalia, Fort Adams and St, Francisville
Website: http://www.island63.com/natchez.cfm


Summary

"Citadel of the South", Vicksburg sits on the first bluff found along the river south of Memphis - not only important to Civil War historians, but to paddlers as well. The Yazoo River confluences with the Mississippi adjacent downtown Vicksburg, and the bluffs continue on the Mississippi side of the river downstream from here all the way to St. Francisville, Louisiana, broken only by the floodplains of various tributaries such as the Big Black, Bayou Pierre, and the Homichitto River. Grand Gulf towers above the mouth of the Big Black River and is reported to be the highest Loess Bluff in the region. Meanwhile down the Louisiana shore the sweeping Lower Mississippi Alluvial Floodplain continues unbroken, and its huge oxbow lakes envelop rich bottomland hardwood forests, sandbars, gravel bars and mudbars. At Old River the Mississippi splits off to form the Atchaflaya River, an alternate route to the Gulf of Mexico.

Description


For more photos: please click on the above image!

Leaving out of Vicksburg on the "River of Death, The Yazoo, our excursions make their way onto the Mississippi and in less than a mile pass beneath the iconic 1930's architecture of the I-20 railroad bridge. Float on down through Centennial Bend, so named for the Rivers 1876 decision to change course and leave Vicksburg high and dry, and head down to Racetrack Towhead. Glide down stream enjoying views of the Vicksburg bluffs for several miles before they give way to stretch of bottom land and the flood plain of several Rivers. Explore the area of Togo Island and some of its back channel. Middle Ground Island is a fine place for camping, exploring, reading, writing relaxing. Just opposite of Middle Ground are the Petite Gulf Hills, where the bluffs come back to meet the River for a distance before dancing away again. Black River served as an important interior "road" up through the steamboat era. Usually a good place to spot local wildlife! Just below The Big Black is the old town of Grand Gulf. A strategic fort sat in the hills above the town, Grand Gulf peaked and then faded away, the River abandoned it, tornadoes ravaged it. Journeys continue down to the area of Bayou Pierre, where, if followed back 30 or so mile would take you within walking distance of Magnum Mound... evidence of much, much earlier river travelers. An old "oxbow", Lake Bruin, lies behind the West bank of the the River. At lower water levels a massive gravel bar lies exposed, not far below the mouth of the Bayou Pierre. Spend of bit of time picking up pieces of several different States. From here the River rambles on down past Island No 111. Rodney Island and the old town of Rodney. A true Mississippi ghost town. High water exploration into this wilderness are a must. Below Rodney is the town of Waterproof. Founded on one of the few pieces of high ground in the Louisiana flood plain along the MIssissippi River, now solidly protected by levees. Several island below offer points of interest in the forms of back channels, long low water beaches, winter pelican areas and a visit into the mouth if Coles Creek. Usually a good place to take a peak at the South's largest reptile, Brother Alligator! Making the bend below the Waterproof Island, on a clear day, will allow one to spot Natchez from nearly 12 miles away. Upriver form Natchez lie The Devil's Punch Bowl and Giles Island, both made infamous in the rather lawless frontier days of the early 1800's. Grand Victorian houses, high atop bluffs greet paddlers. Landing at the Old Under the Hill, in the old days, home to gambling dens, horse race track, men of flatboats. A bit more tame these days! Stop in the Under The Hill Saloon, reputed to be the oldest bar on the Mississippi River. Wifi equipped for those in need of a fix! Stay long after dark and view the artistic lightning of the Natchez Bridges.

Description


For more photos: please click on the above image!

The stretch out of Natchez offers up several islands and back channels for paddling. Points of interest include St Catherines Creek, The chute of Natchez Island, Hutchins Landing, The mouth of Old St Catherines Creek, Old River Chute and Washout Bayou. Fantastic sunset view can be taken in from the Islands opposite Esperance Point. The River sweeps through Dead Man's Bend down past Jackson Point and through Widow Graham Bend. A large Island at Blackhawk Point is a premier campsite and area of leisure. Not far beyond Palmetto point one can gain views of the Corps work at taming the River, The Old River Control Structure and gates to the Atchafalaya Basin. Shreves Bar, Angola Prison "The Farm", The Tunica Hills Ft Adams, The Morganza Spillway and Bayou Sara and The Landing at St Francisville. Just below St Francisville is The John James Audubon Bridge, the second longest cable-stayed span in the Western Hemisphere.


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