The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

Baton Rouge to New Orleans

114.5 RBD - Fortier Manufacturing Complex

Cornerstone Chemical Company’s Fortier Manufacturing Complex is located on 800 acres of the former Orange Grove Plantation which was built by Eugene Fortier in 1786. Construction of the Fortier Manufacturing Complex began in 1952 by American Cyanamid for the production of ammonia, acetylene, hydrogen cyanide, acid, acrylonitrile, ammonium sulfate, and oxygen. Today Cornerstone Chemical Company produces 2,500,000,000 pounds of acrylonitrile, hydrogen cyanide, melamine, oleum, and sulfuric acid at the complex every year. Evonik Industries has a plant in the Fortier Complex that produces methyl methacrylate and methacrylic acid. Kemira Group has a plant in the Fortier Complex that produces acrylamide. Toxic Releases (TRI) for 2013 in pounds: Cornerstone Chemical Company Air: 267,448; Water: 31,891. Evonik Industries: Air: 18,032. Kemira: Air: 288.

Louis Armstrong International Airport

After passing under the Luling Bridge, and Destrehan, and rounding St. Rose Landing and heading downstream through Fairview Crossing you have been hearing and seeing lots of jet planes taking off and landing over the levee and the houses and trees downriver left bank descending, looking downstream into beyond the Kenner Bend over the East Bank. This is the Louis Armstrong International Airport, Louisiana’s biggest and busiest airport. If you are flying out of New Orleans after journey’s end, this is where you will be boarding your plane. The main terminal is about a half mile from river’s edge as you come into Kenner. If you’ve run out of time on your Mississippi River adventure, and are needing to immediately get to the airport, you could do it now, from Kenner. This would not be a very graceful exit. You would be missing the amazing Port of New Orleans, the flavor of the French Quarter, the wild beauty of Bohemia, and the transcendental final run down through the marshes to the Gulf of Mexico. But you would make your plane. Our advice: don’t make a plane reservation until after you reach the Gulf. It will be more costly, but the freedom of river time will make this more than worth it. Don’t mix river time with land time. Best option, have someone pick you up in Venice after trip end, and don’t fly out at all. Once thought of as the “Gateway to the Caribbean,” the Aéroport international Louis Armstrong de La Nouvelle-Orléans still runs daily flights to Panama, Dominican Republic and Mexico, as well as Toronto Canada. Most flights however are interstate within the continental US. It is the 2nd lowest airport in the world. Only Amsterdam Airport is lower.

114.7 City of Kenner Landing (Upper)

Primitive access to the City of Kenner over rip-rap to dead end turn around road. On Google maps seen behind wrecked work barge marooned on river bank. Not recommended for camping, but possible access place.

113 LBD City of Kenner Landing

Best access to the City of Kenner via batture around Boardwalk. Possible picnicking/camping up to 10NO.

The best safe place to make a landing and access the City of Kenner is in the wide batture flats surrounding the river boardwalk which extends over the levee from downtown on the East Bank at approx 113 LBD. Broad open meadow spreads out from the levee down to the river here, about 100 yards wide, with plenty of flat places for camping or picnicking. Watch for rip rap when the river is below 5NO. You will have sandy ladnings near boardwalk between 5 and 7NO. Best conditions for access to grass is between 5 and 10NO. Above 12NO you will have to make a landing on the concrete paved sides of the levee.

113 LBD Kenner, LA

Kenner is the sixth-largest city in the U.S. State of Louisiana. It is the largest city in Jefferson Parish, United States, Louisiana's second-most populous parish, and a suburb of New Orleans. The population was 66,975 at the 2013 census. (Wiki)

From the Kenner Boardwalk Landing LBD 113 it is an easy walk over the levee to reach the old downtown of Kenner, which is strong in churches, parks, and theaters, but no easy access to paddler’s basic resupply needs. Except water, which of course you could find just about anywhere. Two distinctive whitewashed round towers rise above the levee like twin lighthouses, but one of them has a church bell painted on its side (looking like the Bell Telephone logo) and a skinny but tall brown cross on it. The other one is plain white. This is the Pilgrim Baptist Church. If its Sunday, and you’re in need of some spiritual healing before tackling the Big Easy, you have many choices, from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church (Catholic), to the Faith of Hope Missionary Baptist Church, to the aforementioned Pilgrim Baptist Church, to the New Birth Cathedral of Glory, to the Solid Rock Christian Fellowship, to the Spirit of Liberty Christian Fellowship Church, to Thomas United Methodist Church, to the Powerhouse Church, to Zion Community Development Center, to the Bible Way Holiness Church, to Sweet Home Christian Center, all found within 10 blocks of the boardwalk. If you are in need of any Christian literature there is Burton’s Good News Bookstore.

Mahalia Jackson, the Queen of Gospel, is buried in Providence Memorial Park, a mile from the river in Kenner. Queen Mahalia was born in the kitchen of a New Orleans batture house in 1911 (104LBD Carrolton Bend Batture Houses). By the time she died in 1972, she’d recorded more than 30 albums, sang for heads of state, and been called, “the single most powerful black woman in the United States.” She sang at the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington, just before Martin Luther King took the podium. When he died, she sang at his funeral.

112.2 LBD Azalea Fleet, Inc., Mooring


112.1 LBD L&L Oil and Gas Services, LLC, River Ridge Slips


111-109 Wood Resources Fleeting

Two miles of fleeting occupy the outside of Avondale Bend partially squeezing traffic through this section. Large eddie along 12-Mile Point might force you into the middle of the river, causing head on collisions with other traffic in the area. Use your best paddler’s judgement as you pass through this constricted bend.

111 RBD Channel Shipyard Wharf


111 RBD ARTCO New Orleans Shipyard Slip

You’ve probably had close encounters with their big 3-screw tows throwing out big rolling waves in their outwash upstream, their fleet includes the Crimson Duke, the American Spirit, and other giants of the Mississippi River, some of the biggest and most power tows out there. You’ve been paddling alongside these tows and their grain-laden barges for weeks and weeks now, and now you are finding out where they are all headed. Welcome to ARTCO headquarters! The American River Transportation Company (ARTCO) is a subsidiary of the Archer Daniels Midland company. ARTCO manages the transportation of ADM products along the Mississippi, Ohio and Illinois rivers, as well as cocoa along the Madeira River in Brazil. ARTCO owns 2,000 barges, plus dozens of towboats and harbor tugboats. There are several opportunities for maritime career at ARTCO boats. ARTCO ships many of ADM's products, including as grain and oil seed, ethanol, and corn gluten meal.