The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

St. Francisville to Baton Rouge

About “Cancer Alley”:

This charming term for the South Louisiana river parishes got a lot of play during the 1980s, especially after an epidemiologist named Vivien Chen reported an elevated incidence of lung cancer among white males here, mainly in New Orleans.  Interestingly, white females and minorities of either sex did not show elevated lung cancer rates, meaning that the effect might be better explained by patterns in cigarette smoking than by exposure to industrial chemicals.  Dr. Chen and other researchers later reported that, for most other cancers, incidence here is lower than or equal to that of the rest of the country.  At this point, it’s worth noting a distinction between incidence and mortality.  Many of these cancers have elevated mortality rates in South Louisiana, even without elevated incidence.  This may be an indication of the quality of public health care here.  Bottom line: If you’re worried about cancer, the time to worry is before you get here.  Protect your skin from solar radiation with long sleeves, floppy hats, gloves, and (not or) sunscreen.  Far too many paddlers arrive in Baton Rouge looking like a bunch of raw hamburger gone bad.  (Mike Beck)


Possible Highwater Campsites along the Lower Mississippi River

Baton Rouge to New Orleans

All of this information will be updated in the 2015 edition of the Rivergator   The below list Indicates places that might have a piece of dry flat sand to make a stop, stretch your legs, have a quiet picnic, or pitch a tent, and stands high enough to make a safe camp during times of high water.


Warning: most of these places go under if the river is above Flood Stage in Baton Rouge (35.0).  RBD = Right Bank Descending (“West Bank”), LBD = Left Bank Descending (“East Bank”). 


? = unverified means I haven’t actually witnessed this location during highwater.  Please send updates and add to list!  John Ruskey.  Quapaw Canoe Co.  (662) 902-7841.  Thank You!


220 LBD

Duncan Point

Human foot-traffic (fishermen) possible


214-215 RBD

Manchac Point

First and best “remote” feeling camp below Baton Rouge


210 LBD

Bar above Plaquemines LBD >20

Nice Sandbar mid channel, only exposed at medium or below.


209 LBD

Plaquemines LBD >30

Sand & Gravel Bar, sand collection operation behind, drydock nearby


195 LBD

Bayou Goula Sandbar LBD >25

Last real island on the Lower Mississippi River!  Forested island with sandbars becoming exposed around 20, huge sandbars 15 or below.

194 LBD

Point Claire LBD >35

Huge open Sandbar


177 LBD

Eighty-One Mile Point LBD >30

Tall Sandbar, Gravel Operations behind


171 RBD

Pt. Houmas >30

Possible cattle grazing nearby & some industry behind


154 LBD

College Point >30?

Great Camp, no visible industry


149 LBD

Pauline Bar (Magnolia Landing) LBD >30

Beautiful undulating dunes & willow thickets.  Owned by a very paddler friendly, the Poches.  Contact them ahead of time if at all possible for support in this stretch of river.


143 LBD

Belle Point LBD >30?

Small high point inside eddy at Marquez


RBD 132

Bonnet Carre Island >25?

Last Island on the Mississippi River


130 LBD

Thirty-Five Mile Point LBD >30?

Small Gravel & Shell landing with woods behind


129 LBD

Bonnet Carre Upper LBD >40

Camping along spur of levee at top end of Spillway


127 LBD

Bonnet Carre Lower LBD >40

Camping along spur of levee at bottom end of Spillway

*Note: Boat Ramp.  No more public launches until Venice.


109 RBD

Opposite Twelve Mile Point RBD >35?

Possible Camp above refineries


95 RBD

Algier’s Point

Beware of unfriendly foot traffic!  Never leave your vessel or gear unattended here.


94.7 LBD

The Moonwalk -- French Quarter and French Market

Restaurants, Pubs, Groceries. Concrete staircase over rip-rap.  It’s not a boat landing, and no camping here.  But, could be a temporary stop.  Never leave your vessel or gear unattended here.


11 LBD

Mouth of Baptiste Collette Bayou

Beautiful bluff of sand

Beware waves.  Heavy oil rig traffic through Bayou.


10 RBD

Mouth of Grand Pass

Possible slivers of sand in low water.  Cattle grazing on island.

CLICK HERE for the Appendix