Intro: Moderate one-day paddle around two huge bends of the river with big islands throughout (Or can be done as overnight). Side-channels and secret waterways to explore depending on river level with excellent birding & animal watching. Great fossil hunting on the gravel bars at the top end of Island 62 (low water). Becoming a habitat for Bald Eagle and Black Bear. Closest place to experience the watery wilderness and huge forests created by the Mississippi River in the Clarksdale area.
Put in at Delta Landing and paddle past Montezuma Towhead (which was created when the steamboat The Montezuma happened upon a snag and sank on Feb 28, 1829) and float by Mississippi Limestone of Friars Point. Friars Point was once the major population center and seat of Coahoma County. That was when it was located right on the river, the downtown a levee landing where cotton was loaded onto steamboats, and gamblers might be seen strolling the streets looking for the next unwary victim. Home of Conway Twitty and Aretha Franklin’s Daddy, The Rev. C.L. Franklin. The postal packet the Kate Adams made regular landing here, and Muddy Waters reported seeing Robert Johnson perform in front of Hirsberg Grocery. Old Ferry access to Helena. North Delta Museum, Icehouse Antiques.
Swirl around Kangaroo Point in strong currents with an enormous eddy bank right and make landing on Island 61 (Dewberry Island). During low water a 2 mile long blue-hole against shore, bird sanctuary for Canada Geese, the White Pelican and the Least Tern. Good campsite or lunch stop.
Breads, sausages, cold cuts, cheeses, sliced fruits & veggies – you won’t go hungry on one of our adventures!
Continue on downstream around Old Town (site of Indian village) and spin around Miller Point where the entire river makes a 180 degree and turns back on itself, often with powerful expressions of giant boils & whirlpools. Sometimes you can hear the sand moving along the bottom of the river reverberate through the bottom of your canoe, even though the river is 150 deep in places! At Modoc Crevasse the levee broke here on the Arkansas side of the channel in 1913 and Mississippi Limestone wreck of dredge in 1983.
Slide past the top end of Island 62 a beautiful remote towhead island with long stretches of willow broken by stands of cottonwood, all surrounded by a sea of big-grained yellow sand. Possible break stop, great animal tracking, birding, and fossil finding. Island 62 is bisected by a swamp which empties into a chute on the Arkansas side.
Paddling through some of the back channels
Cross main channel of the river to Island 63 and enter back channel, float down through deep forests full of animals & birds, deer, coyote, wild boar, beavers and river otters are commonly seen, and black bear less commonly. Long shadows & great colors in the sky as the sun descends over the watery wilderness to the West. Float into Quapaw Landing to meet shuttle back to Clarksdal
Scenes along the way (L-R) 1) Pre-Dawn Levee, 2) Friars Point Back Channel, 3) Main channel of the river swirling around Kangaroo Point at sunrise
9am: Meet at Quapaw Canoe Company in downtown Clarksdale, board shuttle
10am: Shuttle to Montezuma Landing. Load canoes and push off downstream.
11am: Explore channels behind Friars Point
12noon: Make landing on Dewberry Island No. 61. River Lunch.
1pm: Time for exploring, beach-combing, swimming, following tracks across the huge sandbars, fossil-finding on the gravel bars, fishing, etc.
3pm: Reload canoes. Swirl around Old Town Bend.
4pm: Enter back channel of Island 63
5pm: Quapaw Landing
6pm: Return to Clarksdale
All expeditions are outfitted with first-aid kits, rescue ropes, life preservers, cellular communication, and VHF marine radio. Please remember itinerary is dependent on river level and prevailing weather. When on the river, there is no time but “River Time.”