Mississippi Canoe Trails

by Jeremiah Blanchard
Canoe trails offer many activities for outdoor enthusiasts.

Canoe trails offer many activities for outdoor enthusiasts.

Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Aside from the mighty Mississippi River that flows alongside Mississippi's western border, the state has many other rivers and creeks that are prime spots for canoeing and outdoor recreation. Canoe water trails can be found throughout the state, including one that boasts the state's only class III rapids. One of the best ways to beat the hot Mississippi sun is to get out on one of the many canoe trails the state has to offer.

Okatoma Creek

Mississippi's Okatoma Creek is a fast flowing stream-bed that resembles a full flowing river at many points along its path. Often referred to as the Okatoma River, this stream is a tributary of the Bouie River and a watershed of the Pascagoula River. Canoeing outfitters can be found all around the creek, particularly in the town of Seminary. Along the trail canoeing enthusiasts will encounter wildlife, vertical bluffs, white sandbars and several changes in elevation. Camping spots, cabins and rope swings line the creek which is often busiest during the summer months. The Okatoma offers class I to class III whitewater, which can be navigated easily for any inexperienced canoeist. The spring and fall are the best times for canoeing the Okatoma due to higher water levels.

Black Creek

Winding through the DeSoto National Forest, this wild and scenic creek offers 21 miles of coastal Mississippi's diverse wildlife and scenery for canoeists to enjoy. The creek parallels the Black Creek Trail (BCT) that can be accessed from the creek at virtually every turn. The creek is best for canoeing in the spring, when water levels are at the highest. Summer can be arduous on the water, forcing paddlers to drag the canoe through several shallow areas. Six launch points are available along the creek, with primitive camping allowed along the entire creek. Black Creek is typically accessed from the town of Brooklyn where the major outfitters set up shop.

Wolf River

Mississippi's first designated scenic stream, the Wolf River flows through coastal Mississippi and all of its southern beauty. The Wolf offers white sandbars at every turn, abundant wildlife and cypress trees clustered closer to the coastline. The river can be quite low in certain spots, at times less than 3 feet, depending on the amount of rainfall received. The most popular canoe trip for the Wolf River is a 10.6 mile stretch from Cable Bridge Road to Tucker Road near the Wolf River Canoe and Kayak Outfitters in Long Beach, Mississippi. Camping, fishing and hiking are all popular activities along the Wolf River.

Red Creek

Red Creek, partially nestled in the DeSoto National Forest, is another popular outdoor location in Southern Mississippi. Part of the Red Creek Wildlife Management Area, this stream is a smaller tributary of nearby Black Creek, into which it eventually empties. The creek has a reddish, tannin-like color and is shallow in many areas, though very broad along most of its path. Near the Gulf of Mexico, the creek becomes much more swamp-like along many bends, and plentiful wildlife with several white sandbars can be found all along the creek. Camping opportunities are primitive along the creek, and can also be found along the Tuxachanie trail, near POW Lake, which the creek flows near in several locations.

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