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Where the Ridge Meets the River

Lower Mississippi River Dispatch No 352

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Helena Harbor -- the most paddler-friendly harbor on the Lower Miss!

Wanted: Business Partner for the Quapaw Canoe Company Helena Outpost! Great career opportunity in the best location on the Mississippi River in between Memphis and Vicksburg. “Where the Ridge meets the River.” Excellent community, excellent location, biggest river in North America at your doorstep. See below for full details.

Helena commands 321 miles of the Lower Miss (in Arkansas) and sits at the base of Crowley's Ridge, near the St. Francis Nat'l Forest.

(Note: Secretary Position Filled)


Sat June 18 — 35th Annual Outdoors Inc Canoe & Kayak Race, Memphis, TN

Biggest Canoe & Kayak Race in SE United States! 2.3 mile river race along Mud Island, under the M Bridge, and into downtown Memphis via the Wolf River Harbor.

For registration go to

Water levels and river conditions across the Basin:

This week on the Lower Mississippi River: The Ohio rose a couple of inches at Cairo, IL, but elsewhere it is a falling river across the entire Lower Mississippi Basin (with hot humid weather accompanying: 110 heat index in Clarksdale, Miss). After months of high-water the river is finally falling below 10 at New Orleans which means paddlers will find more sandy places to stop at places like Manchac and Algiers Points, Bayou Goula and Plaquemines Islands (but still good flow). In Memphis the dikes are emerging, with generous flow as the water drops below 9 with a volume of 427,000 cfs.

Middle Mississippi River: the Middle Miss is hovering around 17.5 at St. Louis (284,000 cfs) which means big boils and moderate turbulence will be experienced at the Chain of Rocks, but no waterfall (watch out when it falls below 16 SLG!). There is good flow at the confluence with lots of sand showing at places like Duck and Mosenthein Islands.

All the loopy lines surrounding Helena = great rivers for paddlers!

Quapaw Canoe Company --
Helena, Arkansas

Business Opportunity: Purchase/Partnership

Intro: This is an extraordinary opportunity for anyone who both loves the water and has dreamed of running or owning their own business. Purchase or partnership using well-established and successful system of operations. Great opportunity for first time 'outdoor-preneurs' for coaching, mentoring, logistical support, and camaraderie of the Quapaw Canoe network of river rats on the biggest and baddest river in North America!

Ever since we lost John Fewkes “Mad Dog” the Quapaw Canoe Company Helena Outpost has been wandering like a pelican lost in a hurricane. Help us get back on track. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a career change. This is the perfect location and setting for somebody to realize their potential.

Description: Quapaw Canoe Company - Helena Outpost is offering a purchase or partnership opportunity for someone who has a strong passion for rivers, outdoor recreation, and is ready to dive into a challenging but rewarding business based in Helena, Arkansas. For more information about QCC, please visit

Geography: The Mississippi River forms 321 miles of paradise for paddlers along the Eastern Border of Arkansas, and Helena sits in the center of it all. With a protected harbor and 2 boat ramps, Helena is the ideal setup. Additional access to spectacular paddling on the White River, the Arkansas River, the St. Francis River, the Cache River (ivory billed woodpecker?) and Big Creek -- all within an hour’s drive of Helena.

Requirements: Must live in Helena or be willing to relocate. Must be friendly and people-oriented. Must be good with kids as well as adults. Must have good communication skills, and be able to speak comfortably with individuals as well as groups. Must be a capable writer and typist. Must be computer savvy (both Microsoft and Apple systems). Knowledge of Quickbooks a plus. Ability with Social Media a plus. Must be willing to tackle challenges and learn new skills. We will train as needed. Must be a good team member, but also must able to work independently. Must be passionate about the outdoors and the American wilderness ethic. Must be physically capable of outdoor tasks (such as canoeing and kayaking) and moving heavy equipment in preparation and/or cleanup of expeditions. Must have own personal vehicle and current driver’s license. Must be honest, earnest and hard-working. We are all worker bees in this company; the river is the queen.

Other Helpful Skills (but not requirements): Experience in nature tourism. Wilderness First Aid, or other medical training. Creative writing. Youth Outdoor Programming and Leadership. Natural Sciences. Adobe software. Grant-writing.

About Us: Quapaw Canoe Company is a mission-driven small business based in Clarksdale, Miss, with river outposts in Helena, Ark and Natchez, Miss. We are dedicated to exploring and sharing the beauty and wildness of the Lower Mississippi River and its muddy tributaries in human powered vessels.

Arrangement: Partnership or Purchase opportunity, subject to negotiation, including long term association with Quapaw Canoe Company: its systems, equipment (giant voyageur canoes), and internal mechanisms (that have passed the test of time for safe operations on the biggest and wildest river in North America).

All water trails in Eastern Arkansas lead to Helena.

Quapaw Canoe Company -- Helena, Arkansas

Partnership/Purchase Opportunity


This Partnership/Purchase will enable Quapaw Canoe Company to better establish itself in Helena and provide higher quality service to its clients.


Statistics from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show there are 24 million recreational paddlers in the U.S (compare that to 11 million licensed hunters). Most Americans go hiking, biking and paddling in the Rocky Mountains, Appalachia, the North Woods, or Florida to participate in outdoor recreation. The Mississippi River is America’s largest undiscovered wilderness. Quapaw Canoe Company is seeking to provide better access for paddlers right here in the heart of America’s Deep South.

We provide an essential link to nature in the heart of America on the biggest river in North America, the 3rd largest in the world. 1155 miles of free-flowing river below St. Louis with countless channels, back channels, side channels, runouts, passes and chutes to explore and get close to nature. Paddling brings clients closer to the essence of the wild river than any other means.


Quapaw Canoe Company was established in 1998 to provide high quality wilderness experiences on the Lower Mississippi River and its floodplain.

An opportunity in Helena

Quapaw Canoe Company Helena Outpost opened in 2008 at 411 Ohio in the historic district of downtown Helena. In 2012 we purchased the most ideal location for a river business in Helena at 107 Perry (5548 square feet). Helena has the best ramp and the safest harbor for hundreds of miles up & down the river (in between Memphis and Vicksburg). If any place is going to become the Canoe & Kayaking center of the Lower Mississippi River it’ll either be Memphis, Vicksburg, Natchez or Helena -- and Helena has better public access and riverbank public camping. In addition, a public use island (Buck Island) is found within one mile of the Helena Harbor. Buck Island has been preserved for public recreation by Arkansas Game & Fish. All of these variables create the ideal combination for making Helena the springboard for Nature Tourism on the Mississippi River. All of the pieces are in place. It is only a matter of time before Helena reaches the tipping point and this takes off. When it happens, Quapaw Canoe Company will be there to serve and benefit!


We want to expand our services in a wholesome manner, to better serve our clientele, and better protect the river, and we want your help in a purchase/partnership to make this possible.

Rivergator Celebratory Expedition New Dates: March 14th to May 5th, 2017:

Due to the catastrophic flooding we suffered in March, we are backing up the dates on the Rivergator Celebratory Expedition from Fall 2016 to Spring 2017. If you have been thinking about joining us for this 6-week celebration from St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico, please adjust the dates on your calendar: March 14th to May 5th, 2017. Exact itinerary and more details forthcoming.

The Rivergator: Paddler’s Guide to the Lower Mississippi River is one million words describing the Middle and Lower Mississippi River for paddlers! Free online guide to the mysteries of the big muddy river from St. Louis to the Gulf. Also includes thousands of photos, maps and videos. 6-year project now being completed with the help of hundreds of naturalists, paddlers, and other river rats. Go check it out at!

For more photos of the Lower Miss and more reading, go to

The Lower Mississippi River Dispatch

is a service of the Lower Mississippi River Foundation
Clarksdale, Mississippi ~ Helena, Arkansas