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Saint Francis River, Arkansas
Report by Marc W. McCord

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SOAR Inflatable Canoes - Somewhere On A River

The St. Francis River, or Saint, as it is popularly known among paddlers, originates in St. Francois County Missouri, flows down through the Mark Twain National Forest through Iron, Madison, Wayne, Stoddard, New Madrid and Dunklin Counties before leaving Missouri to form the partial borders between Arkansas and Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee and Arkansas and Mississippi. The river ends at its mouth on the Mississippi River in Lee County, Arkansas in the St. Francis National Forest. The Saint is almost like two different rivers separated by Lake Wappapello, which divides the high-relief Ozark Plateau above the lake from the low-relief Mississippi Alluvial Plain below it. The headwaters are characterized by igneous rock in the Ozark uplift of the St. Francois Mountains, followed downstream by sandstone and dolomites.

This review details the Saint Francis River between Clarkton and Village Creek State Park running about 128 miles. The river will be detailed in five reaches, each runnable in one or two days depending upon paddler abilities and flow. The river flows between the Mississippi River to the east ands the Black River to the west in the northeast corner of Arkansas, ending just north of IH 40 and west of Memphis. Good access and gorgeous scenery combine to make the Saint a great place to paddle for those who enjoy flatwater rivers.

Click the links below for information regarding the section of the St. Francis River where you want to paddle.

[ St. Francis to Brighton ] [ Brighton to Lake City ] [ Lake City to Marked Tree ] [ Marked Tree to SH 42 ] [ SH 42 to Village Creek State Park ]

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© October 10, 2002. All rights reserved.
Last updated December 27, 2014

Copyright © 1997-2015, Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. All rights reserved. Southwest Paddler, CobraGraphics and Canoeman River Guide Services are trademarks of Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. The textual, graphic, audio, and audio/visual material in this site is protected by United States copyright law and international treaties. You may not copy, distribute, or use these materials except for your personal, non-commercial use. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All original photographs on this web site are the exclusive property of Marc W. McCord or other designated photographers and may not be copied, duplicated, reproduced, distributed or used in any manner without prior written permission under penalty of US and International laws and treaties.