Quapaw Canoe Company

Quapaw Canoe Company offers wilderness expeditions on the Lower Mississippi River, its back waters, bayous, oxbows, and the alluvial flood plain between the levees. Our mission is to share the wild beauty of the river with the general public and create awareness of the beauty flowing through the middle of our incredible country. We provide guiding and outfitting services on any section of the river between St. Louis and the Gulf of Mexico, but our favorite pieces of river are found in the very wild area between Memphis and Vicksburg, between Vicksburg and Natchez, and between Natchez and St. Francisville, Louisiana. In these stretches, nature predominates with gargantuan expressions of big islands, endless jungly forests, ocean-sized beaches, and the rolling turbulent muddy waters of the big river. Read more at www.island63.com.

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Latitude: 34.960187 Longitude: -90.522095 Elevation: 199 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
John Ruskey

Areas of Service and Expertise

Guiding, Outfitting, Education, Youth Programming, Shuttling and Expedition Services. With almost 20 years of operation (est 1998) Quapaw Canoe Company has demonstrated the viability of safe canoeing on the Lower Mississippi River with countless expeditions involving churches, schools, boy scouts, girl scouts, families, couples and individuals. Quapaw has successfully guided over 20,000 people on the river in wooden voyageur style canoes hand crafted in our Clarksdale location. These vessels are extremely safe due to their sturdiness, balance and ability to handle the sometimes extreme water conditions of the Mississippi. We can take any number of people on any section of the river. Clients can arrive with their personal suitcase and we can provide the rest, including tents, sleeping bags, pads and meals. Owner John Ruskey is also the author of the Rivergator: Paddler's Guide to the Lower Mississippi, which is an excellent resource for anyone on the river.

Types of Experiences and Trips Provided

Mississippi River Adventures can be arranged by the day or the week. We customize trips for individuals, friends, families, churches, team-building, youth groups, and many others. We periodically offer artist retreats on the river, yoga retreats, and other thematic outdoor river camps. Float trips available on any section of the river in between St. Louis and the outlets of the river into the Gulf of Mexico. Trips also available on Lower Miss tributaries such as the White, the Arkansas, the Big Sunflower (subject to river level), and the Yazoo. By canoe or kayak only. No motor power used. No previous experience necessary, but must be willing to paddle, and must enjoy primitive picnicking and camping.

Locally or Family-Owned Business Notes

Owned and operated by Clarksdale, Mississippi, resident John Ruskey since 1998. Outposts operated by locals based in Helena, Natchez, Vicksburg and Memphis. All guides come from or live in the Mississippi Valley. Ongoing apprenticeships for Mississippi and Arkansas youth on canoe building, big river navigation, outdoor leadership, and wilderness survival.

Accessibility Notes

We stand by our motto of "Leave no child on shore". We will share the wild beauty of the Lower Mississippi River with anyone interested! We can accommodate kids, elderly, and anyone who is physically impaired in any way.  We have guided blind people, injured people, and elderly who could not walk. Our clientele has ranged from ages of 7 months to 95 years old!  No previous experience necessary, but must wear life jacket and must be willing to paddle. We teach paddling skills. We also provide high quality interpretation about the geography, geology, and natural history of the Lower Mississippi Valley.

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets not encouraged in our canoes, but exceptions have been made for seeing-eye dogs.

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