While paddling the first five miles of the trail, you will see steamboat landings and Indian mounds, which are reminders of the not too distant past. Paddle past Holland Landing, Chapel Landing, Hickman Landing, Big Eddy Landing, Whitehouse Landing, Ratliff Landing, and Tisdell Landing and imagine the passengers and freight being transported by steamboats on their way to and from the heart of the Delta. The Sunflower connected the growing cotton kingdom of the fecund Mississippi Delta to Vicksburg and thence downstream to New Orleans, and from there to American and English textile factories.
Historically, the Big Sunflower River was a clear flowing river, as reported by legendary hunting guide Holt Collier (1902). Theodore Roosevelt, who employed Mr. Collier’s services during one of his famous bear hunts, made morning swims in the river in November of 1902.