Best Places To Kayak In Mississippi: Chunky River, Black Creek, & Bear Creek

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Whether you are a local resident, or a traveler seeking an exotic experience, kayaking in Mississippi will guarantee that you experience the full beauty that the Mississippi river has to offer while simultaneously ensuring an active, fun-filled day.

Kayaking down the Mississippi River is one of the most enjoyable and scenic outdoor activities you can experience in Mississippi. The different stretches of the river combined with numerous kayaking businesses ensure that people of all ages/experience levels can enjoy paddling down the river.

There are many different things you need to consider when planning the perfect kayaking trip. Your age, fitness level, and experience with kayaking should be considered when planning the perfect day out. It is also recommended to find reputable establishments with trained river guides to ensure you have the safest trip possible.

The 4 Best Places To Kayak In Mississippi

While there are numerous places where you could enjoy kayaking in Mississippi, there are a couple that are worth mentioning.

The Chunky River

The Chunky River in Mississippi is one of the finest stretches of river for beginners or people with little kayaking experience. This stretch of river is about 6.7 miles long, can be completed in under 3 hours with a few rest stops, and requires minimal paddling.

The scenery when paddling down this river is phenomenal. Located in central Mississippi, the area is hillier than most places, and this stretch of the river weaves through the hills of undeveloped regions providing a unique experience.

Black Creek

You can expect to see some genuinely remarkable scenic routes while kayaking down the Black Creek. The deepwater gives off a black color that stands in stark contrast to the white sandbanks along the river, which can stretch hundreds of feet and make for perfect rest stops either for stopping for a quick lunch or setting up camp for the night.

The Black Creek is also one of the most popular kayaking locations, especially in the summer months. This is because Black Creek is the only official National Wild and Scenic waterway in Mississippi. Many kayakers love the Black Creek because it is an easy trip; this makes it a perfect route for beginners.

Bear Creek

You can expect your trip to be about 6.5 miles long when kayaking down Bear Creek. The scenery is extraordinary in this section of the river as it passes through the Tishomingo State Park, which prides itself in maintaining the river.  

This trip is ideal for beginners, but only when the creek has an average water level. The trip only lasts a couple of hours, and with the gigantic trees and mold-covered boulders next to the stream, you can expect some truly unique scenery.

The Leaf River

The Leaf River is one of the larger sections of the river. Due to this you can expect to find a few more boats on the water than usual. However, it is still an excellent place to go kayaking and has many excellent reviews despite the busy river traffic.

There are many sand bars that make for perfect rest stops while paddling. There is a 10.8 mile stretch on the Leaf River which is ideal for kayaking, the Pinebelt Blueway, which is a relatively new course that many watersport enthusiasts were excited about.

Best Time To Go Kayaking In Mississippi

Generally, the best time to go kayaking is in the early summer or late spring. During this time of the year, it is not so cold that you need to dress warmly when doing outside activities, but at the same time, it isn’t hot enough to worry about trying to cool down.

The main hazard when kayaking in late spring or early summer is the possibility of getting caught in the rain or a significant thunderstorm. This can generally be avoided by planning your trips properly and watching the weather forecasts.

The most dangerous time to go kayaking during the year is when the temperature drops so low that the water will freeze. So, it is not a good idea to try and kayak in the middle of the winter months.

However, suppose you are planning a trip in the late summer months/beginning of fall. In that case, it is still entirely possible to have a great experience, especially with the breathtaking scenery displaying the changing colors of the leaves.

Mississippi has a generally moderate climate; because of the temperate weather, you should be able to enjoy kayaking in Mississippi all year round.

Kayaking Laws In Mississippi

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has specified that waterways that have an annual mean flow of 100 cubic Feet per second are considered public waterways. This remains true even if the channel flows through private properties and land.

Activities that are associated with kayaking, such as portaging, or tying up your kayak next to a tree, will not be considered as trespassing on private land or property as long as these activities remain beneath the river high watermark.

Mississippi law requires a PDF (Personal Floatation Device) to be within range and easily accessible for every person on a kayak. The CDC has stated that nine out of every ten deaths could have easily been avoided if the victims had all been wearing a personal floatation device.

While paddling, children who are 13 and under must be wearing a personal floatation device at all times, and there must always be another adult present in the kayak with a child. The state of Mississippi has stated that dumping of any kind, including human waste and any trash, in state waters is illegal.

How Much Does Kayaking In Mississippi Cost?

If you are a tourist or just want to get out for the day, kayaking in Mississippi will cost you around $35 – $55 for a couple of hours to a full-day rental.

However, if you are trying to take up kayaking as a sport, the personal costs of buying your own kayak are a lot higher and can range anywhere from $300 for a simple fishing kayak to $1,925 for a touring kayak.


Whether you’re a tourist visiting from out of state or a local resident seeking some weekend entertainment, a day out on the rivers and creeks that run through Mississippi is an excellent place for beginners and experienced kayakers to have some fun.

With loads of the best kayaking spots to choose from, the breathtaking scenery on the rivers, and the low cost of $35 – $55 for a full day kayak rental – there’s no reason why this weekend can’t be spent outdoors and having fun with your friends or family.