The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail


Lower Mississippi River Mileage

Mileage indicates miles above the Head of Passes, the ground zero of the Mississippi River, the fork in the road 10 miles below Venice and 90 miles below New Orleans where the Mississippi splits into its Delta channels as it pours into the Gulf of Mexico the three primary channel being the Southwest Pass, the South Pass and the Pass L’Outre.  All mileage between Cairo and the Caribbean is measured on this scale, Pilot Town at mile 3, Venice mile 10, New Orleans 95, Baton Rouge 230, St. Francisville 265, Natchez 363, Vicksburg 437, Greenville 537, Helena 663, Memphis 737, Caruthersville 846, New Madrid 889, and Ohio River 954.   The mouth of the Ohio River at Cairo Illinois is mile 0 for the Middle Mississippi (180 miles upstream to the Missouri River Confluence) and mile 982 for the Ohio River (up to Pittsburgh).



The title Rivergator is derived from the national best-seller The Navigator first published in 1801 by Zadok Kramer, with 12 subsequent printings.  The Navigator described the Mississippi Valley for pioneer settlers streaming out of the Eastern United States in the first great wave of continental migrations that eventually led to the settling of the Wild West.  Thomas Jefferson and other leaders were fearful that the French or the English would get there first.   With the Lewis & Clark explorations and the introduction of the steamboat to the Mississippi River in 1812, Americans followed the big rivers up and down through the heart of the country, and The Navigator was their guide.  In this spirit I have adopted the name Rivergator with the hope that Americans will rediscover their “wilderness within,” the paddler’s paradise created by the Lower Mississippi River.  And that the Rivergator will be adopted by successive generations of canoeists and kayakers, and re-written as the river changes.  Zadoc Cramer also invented the numbering system for Lower Mississippi River Islands, a system that survive to this day.



All main channel and back channel descriptions, and all islands, points, landings, and all other features will be identified with the mileage system used on the 2007 US Army Corps of Engineer River Maps, which can be downloaded (PDF file, 89 MB, 316 pages) from the Memphis District US Army Corps of Engineers website link below:


2007 Flood Control and Navigation Maps

Mississippi River

Cairo, Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico

Mile 953 to Mile 0 A.H.P.