Paddling times and distances

How far can I expect to travel per day (in miles or kilometers)on a downstream float.

  • 5 miles

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 10 miles

    Votes: 1 25.0%
  • 15 miles

    Votes: 3 75.0%
  • less than 5 miles

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2005
Queensland, Australia

my inclination would be to pull up where-ever looked good at the time.

I fished "the passage" extensively as a kid and used to know the southern section between Donnybrook and Tripiconny Bight pretty well. There are no shortage of "sly" :D camp sites there, and I think further north would be similar.

I would need a few weeks to prepare too.

Noosa Everglades is an awsome paddle but most of the designated camping spots are set up with canoes in mind. the banks are steep to with vertical log retaining walls that drop into about 4 feet of water. This makes it very hard to get in and out of your kayak. (will try to find some old piccies.) From Harry's Hut, it is about a 2 hour paddle in either direction before the first kayak suitable pull out place exists. Kinaba in the South and about 7 or 8 miles north to a little sand bar. There is nothing for a kayak in between.


Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
Central , Florida

Your Dad sounds like me .....

I have stuff around here that my Grandparents use to use and I still do. Then there is everything the folks had and I still use. If it ain't broken and can't be fixed and was good enough for them then it is just as good for me.

Besides there is always those memories from the past with them using it and me as a kid watching them , wishing I would have that ability one day.

Now I'm the old fart using them and with some luck will be able to pass that privilege on to my two daughters and there husbands. Both of them are into camping and like the old stuff... I guess it is the memories that makes everything keep going. Not even thinking of all the stories involved with the items. :lol:

Most of the stories about this and that , don't sink into there minds today since civilization has become so advanced but out camping it is still the basics and with any luck will not change for a while. I still yearn for the smell of a wax coated canvas tent , what memories that would bring back. :D

The bacon cooking in a iron skillet when some potatoes cut up and later some eggs tossed in there , all mingled with some wood smoke on a cool morning is not a bad 2nd for missing the canvas tent. I still miss that canvas tent smell , what a wonderful aroma when sleeping.



Well-Known Member
Nov 9, 2006
Mr. Lee
I grow up on the big Muddy and i aint no xpert but the average flow from the twin city area to st. louis is 5 mile per. if you stay ahead of the flow you should average betwix 15 & 20 easy each day. the main problem most have that I have seen or had is the dams. each one will cost time. you either have to wait to lock thru or portage. I found since 9/11 they dont like to have folks walkin on the dam area like they use to. So make sure you have contacted each 1 a few days ahead of time so they know you are in the area. this way they will work with you even if you portage they will (some any way) allow you to portage the short side.

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
I have no experience on a river as large as the Mississippi. Frankly, I prefer smaller, more personal rivers. Something under 1000 CFM. A few years ago, the Allegheny was too big for me.

Barriers like trees down across the river, dams, reservoirs, swamps, etc. can slow you down on inland rivers. I plan on a 2.5-3 mph average, including stops.

My canoe is not a fast boat, and I have to work pretty good to keep it above 3mph when it's loaded. The kayaks are faster on the straights, but lose time on bendy, twisty rivers. They don't like to turn, and I sometimes have to stop, turn, and then start up again.

A ten mile day is comfortable; a fifteen mile day means I may miss a practice nap. I like ten milers better.

Johnny Swank

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2006
Sorry to dredge up an old thread, but here's about our rough mileages down the Mississippi.

Headwaters to Bemidji - about 15 miles/day. The water was flowing pretty good, so we didn't have to do any walking other than dragging the canoe over beaver dams. Had a couple of places in the marshed we had to walk, but that was more of a route-finding detail than flow issue.

Bemidji down to about Redwing we covered about 25 miles/day
Redwing to Hannibal - 30 mpd
Hannibal to St Louis - 35-45 mpd
St Louis to Vicksburg - 45-60 mpd
Atchafalaya River to Gulf- about 40 mpd

These numbers are about right, and came off my journals found at ... rnal-john/

tx river rat

Well-Known Member
Feb 23, 2007
Waco Tx
Well the light was on but there was nobody home Dahhhhhhhhhhh
It just dawned on me why there is such a difference in paddling distances
The current is a huge factor, Chucks country slow moving water low miles, Brazos when ts low is about 2 miles an hour and the Miss about five miles an hour, sort of makes sese to me now.


Well-Known Member
Mar 9, 2005
way down yonder
Friend John,

I recall offerin' ta meet somebody below Helena, but when they come by, it wuz so fast, they wuz in Vicksburg before I blinked. Mebbe that wuz ya'll. I recall offerin' ta meet Lee 'er any of ya'll who paddle the big muddy with a boat fulla beanie weenies 'n cold beer. There aint many spots ta pull out 'n buy groceries on the Mississippi.

My offer still stands.


ps I washed off in the Achafalaya once upon a time. It wuz out frum Baton Rogue. Long time ago.

Lee Schneidermann

Well-Known Member
Dec 6, 2007
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
good to see you still posting Jack!
I've been out of the loop, for a while.
(lots of family health matters keeping me out of the water this year)
I've gotten to the point of actually being able to "think" about getting back on the water this fall!