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Pearl River, Carthage, MS

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Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: Larry Stewart
  • Date Submitted: 5/00
  • Email:
  • Location: Carthage, MS
  • Class: Typically Class 1 or class B on the international scale
  • Distance Paddled: about 9.8 miles
  • Water: fresh, muddy
  • Wildlife: Birds (mockingbirds, hawks, vultures, turkeys, etc.); turtles, snakes; oak trees, cypress, willow trees


  • Directions: From Carthage - Hwy 16 west to Hwy 25 south, cross the Pearl River then left onto Hwy 13 south. Turn onto first small paved road to the left. Boat landing is mile down on right. It is identifiable by the old Hwy 13 bridge. (Pictured)
  • Fee: none
  • Description: concrete boat ramps
  • Parking: Non-trailer parking across the street, paved
  • Facilities: Small camp site at the put in but I was advised not to leave a vehicle there, possible theft hazard.


  • Directions: You can take out in the Leake County Water Park or at the landing for the low head dam. NOTE!! DO NOT PROCEED ACROSS THE DAM it is clearly marked so avoid it. From the put in go back to Hwy 25 turn left (south) and proceed to the Road marked Leak County Water Park (watch for the signs) after the first right either keep right again to the water park or keep straight to the low head dam.
  • The put in, and takeouts are all on river left. The park is very visible beyond a lily pad field and the low head dam signs start there.
  • Fee: none
  • Description: concrete boat ramps
  • Facilities: The take out(s) have great parking with paved parking in shaded areas. Restrooms are available at the park but not at the dam.

For reference: these are the two maps from the USGS needed to see the section of river to be paddled:
Ofahoma Quadrangle
Carthage Quadrangle

What We Saw

The Pearl River winds gently through the Mississippi back country. On any given day, a paddler will run across the occasional fisherman, but other contact with people seems rare. There is an abundance of wildlife to be seen if paddling is done quietly. Turtles are in abundance! As far as hazards, at the level I ran it (7.91 at the Jackson gage) there were none.There are several opportunities to see majestic cypress stands and many hidden lakes are along the way if one has the maps to find them.

Be aware of a few cutbacks that can look confusing though, just follow the current. Also, about 3 miles down river the Yockanookany River converges with the Pearl on river right and looks almost still basically remembering to keep left will steer you clear of most problems.

The put in, and takeouts are all on river left. The park is very visible beyond a lily pad field and the low head dam signs start there.

Personally, I took out at the County Park since that was where my shuttle decided to wait for me. I was told it would take about 9 hours to run this section but easily finished in about 3. Anyone should be able to finish in around 4-5 even if they stop for lunch, pictures, and relaxing. There are several sandbars that accommodate all of those very well.