Paddling the Pinebelt Blueway
The Pinebelt Blueway is a 52.3-mile series of paddling trails on the Leaf and Bouie rivers. Currently, no commercial outfitters are servicing this blueway, but fingers crossed, they’re coming. The Leaf River is a series of one snow-white sandbar after another, and the Bouie River has a little bit of everything good about paddling in Mississippi.
We arranged a trip on the Middle Bouie route, and it was super fun. We put in at Pep’s Point and floated down to Glendale Ave. The first 2/3 of the trip took us over little rapids, small sandbanks, and even a cypress stand or two. The river changed character after we passed under the I-59 bridge. It flattened into two small lakes. There was little current here, so you have to paddle the flatwater section, but this is also where we saw a bald eagle patrolling the lakes. We heard some people had difficulty with the Glendale take-out, but we found it straightforward; however, there is a section of bridge rubble below the take-out that you would want to portage around if you’re continuing downriver.
With the longish route (7.8-miles), limited support, and ~2-miles of flatwater, I wouldn’t recommend this route to new paddlers. There was nothing technical, but you need to be self-sufficient to have fun here, including bringing plenty of water and sunscreen.
Below is a table of the paddling trails in the Pinebelt Blueway with distances and access points: