The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

Osceola To Shelby Forest

Regardless of history or name, these islands make for a wonderful getaway from the main channel, and offer wintertime and summertime protection, and wonderful hidden campsites and swim holes.  All sand goes under in high water, when only the highest forest tops of each remain above water. 


To get behind the Hen and the Chicks, stay hard river left past the Cedar Point Lower Light RBD 757.8 and jump into the first opening you see behind the first island.  There are eight or more “chicks” islands in this archipelago, depending on river level, and as result many possible routes for passage.  Follow whatever path attracts your attention.  There are wing dams throughout, at high water they will be indiscernible, but at medium water you might scrape rocks or enjoy a modest drop through an opening in the dike.  Low water passage is not possible, except for behind the last and biggest island, “the Hen.”  Great camping with plenty of bad weather and hot weather protection can found throughout this archipelago.  There are many blue holes below wing dams, and huge pools of water behind the islands.


LBD 752.7 Shelby Forest Boat Ramp

Concrete revetment ramp that bottoms out in layers of thick mud at low water (but fortunately serviced by State Park Maintenance).  Serviceable at all water levels up to flood stage.  Huge parking area.  Often used by towboats for crew changes.  Excellent start place for a day trip downstream to Memphis or for an upstream round trip through the Densford Bar/ Hen and Chicks archipelago.

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