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Expeditions - Extended Circumnavigations

America’s original highways were its rivers. Native peoples (from who all of our modern canoe designs are derived) plied our great waterways from one end of the continent to the other. Working mom & Dad have become too busy to notice as they speed over river bridges & backwaters at 65 mph, but down at river level we have been rediscovering America. Did you know that Greenwood, Mississippi is an island? Did anyone realize that Greater St. Louis is almost completely surrounded by navigable waterways? The Arkansas River, largest tributary in the Lower Mississippi River, creates its largest roadless wilderness, and its possible to paddle throughout most of it.

In these extended circumnavigations we will guide you there -- and bring you safely back home! Put-in and take out from the same landing. Make some life-changing discoveries for yourself without having to jet overseas to exotic locales. Discover the unexpected in your own backyard! Each requires 5 days minimum. If you want to get a better feel for the landscape and see more wildlife (including nocturnal paddling) plan a week, even better two weeks. These are once-in-a-lifetime experiences you won’t want to rush your way through.

  1. Circumnavigate St. Louis via the Merrimac, portage to the Big Muddy Missouri, confluence with the Upper Mississippi, paddle over (or portage) the notorious “Chain of Rocks” the worst single hazard on the entire Mississippi River drainage system, take out underneath the Great Arch, LaClede’s Landing, in downtown St. Louis. In conjunction with Big Muddy Adventures of St. Louis.
  2. Circumnavigate the archipelago of islands found at the base of the Chickasaw Bluffs: Loosahatchie Bar, Redman Bar, Hickman Bar, Brandywine Island, Dean Island, upstream and back down from Mud Island, downtown Memphis. An amazing paddling adventure all within earshot of greater Memphis!
  3. Circumnavigate Big Island: via Arkansas River Confluence, portage to White River, through White River National Wildlife Refuge, confluence with the Mississippi at Smith Point, paddle around Montgomery Island. Access through Rosedale, Mississippi. Largest roadless wilderness in the mid-South. More Louisiana Black Bear than hunters or fishermen. Ancient homeland of the Quapaw Nation. Tonty’s Fort bequeathed by LaSalle 1681. Marquette & Jolliette turned around at this place in 1673 thinking they had come close to the Gulf of Mexico. John James Aububon camped & painted here in 1820. Mark Twain wrote about the doomed town site of Napoleon in his 1883 Life on the Mississippi. Perhaps the most remote and most wild paddling available along the entire length of the Mississippi River.
  4. Circumnavigate Greenville Bends: fecund forests and narrow muddy back channels to explore, get lost in, and found again. You might think you are in the Amazon for all of the steep collapsing banks and forests, the expansive forests, labyrinthine waterscapes . Archipelago of sandbar islands back on Main channel of the river.
  5. Circumnavigate King’s Point: Put in and take out off the cobblestones at the foot of Clay Street in downtown Vicksburg on the Yazoo River, the famed “River of Death,” confluence with Mississippi, paddle around Sparta, Paw-paw Island, through Forest Home Chute, down Paw-Paw Chute, back to Yazoo with possible side trips to Steele bayou and the mouth of the Big Sunflower River (America’s “Most Endangered River” in 2003). Warning: Depends on river level. Could involve long portages. Return under the Loess Bluffs of Vicksburg.
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