The Sunflower can be paddled from downtown Clarksdale upstream for 3 or 4 miles at any time of the year and at any water level. Water is always held in this part of the Sunflower by a lowhead dam below the city.
Paddlers should use caution when putting in at Eagle’s Nest at times of low flow. When there is little flow at the put-in at the bridge and the water is hard to see, paddlers should not use this route as they will have to make numerous portages over logs and other obstructions with this little water. During these times, paddlers should put in downtown and make the round-trip route instead.
If there is plenty of flow at Eagle’s Nest and the river is wide with plenty of depth for paddling, then paddlers should go for it! Paddlers might encounter one or two downed trees, but otherwise the channel should be good flowing throughout and free of obstructions.
Paddlers should exercise caution at higher water levels and watch for snags and strainers. Some maneuvering will be necessary among the cypress tree trunks and the man-made hazards — especially around the Friars Point Road Bridge.
Clarksdale Gage from RiverGages.com
Below is a general guideline for paddlers (Eagle’s Nest put-in only).
|< 9 feet||Low||Numerous portages and other obstructions. Little flow. Not recommended.|
|> 9 feet||Medium||Good flow|
|12 feet||Medium||Lots of water. Less paddling needed.|
|20 feet||High||Woods and bankside lands under water|
|20+ feet||High water||Exercise caution|
Dress for the weather and pack everything into dry bags, plastic tubs or garbage sacks.
- Year-round: Life jacket, extra paddle, water bottle, snacks, first aid kit, emergency gear, cell phone (in zip lock bag), rubber barn boots, sponges and bailers, extra rope, extra food and water, fire starter, camera and rain gear.
- Summer: hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, lightweight long sleeve shirt, bug spray
- Winter: thermal layers, waterproof outerwear, extra clothes in dry bag