Maps   Events   Give

11. Michigan City to LaGrange

Choose Location:

Follow this link for a interactive map.

Length of section: 6.0 miles

Duration of paddle trip:  3-5 hours

Difficulty level:  Intermediate to difficult; portages are required due to down trees; dangerous at high water levels; not recommended for beginners.

Put-in and take-out accessibility:  Status of put-in at Wolf River and old Highway 7 depends on water levels. Take-out at LaGrange is primitive but usually easy, with a gravel access road and parking area. 

Best water level:  between 6.0 and 7.75 feet on the LaGrange river guage:


An overgrown and blocked water trail has been re-opened on this wild section of the Wolf River. Although still somewhat physically challenging, paddlers can now enjoy this relatively short six mile section with good boat access on both ends. Enjoy one of the shortest vehicle shuttle requirements on the Wolf. There are no emergency exits possible anywhere on this section, between put-in and take-out, so come prepared to paddle through all the way through to the LaGrange, Tennessee access. Paddlers should also expect to see wetlands, channelized river beds, a variety of wild life species, snakes and flying insects, especially in the summer months.

 In the summer of 2013, WRC River Guides, assisted by Wes Hopper, owner of Urban Forestry, cleared canoe passage through numerous blockages; several follow-up trips were made to eliminate all the downed tree log jams, which for years has restricted paddling to only a few hardy well experienced folks. By early fall of 2013, with water levels at optimum depths, paddlers were able to navigate through with no portages at all required. This section can now be paddled in as little as 3 hours, though first-timers should allow more time, and the Safety Guidelines still apply.  It is best to paddle with a group.  Inexperienced/ beginner paddlers can join guided trips, with experienced paddlers, to help with skills, passage through un-reported blockages and provide general trail information.  Several WRC River Guides were instrumental in opening this section, with Jeff Sojourner leading the way. Jeff is dedicated to this section and willing to share his knowledge and experience with others. 

 Please read the description below carefully before attempting this section:

The Michigan City, MS, to LaGrange, TN, section of the Wolf River is a true adventure. These are the first navigable waters for small craft on the Wolf River, only a few miles downstream from the river’s source at Baker’s Pond, in Benton County, Mississippi. This section is only accessible by canoe or kayak. Without notice, trees fall, logs wash in and beaver dams are built.  New blockages can happen overnight. Please inform WRC if you notice such conditions.  As for all Wolf River sections, it is best to begin paddling early in the day to make sure and reach the takeout by dark. The put-in launch site is actually on Indian Creek. After launching, continue down Indian Creek a few hundred yards to its confluence with the Wolf River. Indian Creek is shallow, usually clear with a soft, relatively clean, sandy bottom. Due to shifting sands, even under ideal conditions, paddlers may need to make short “floating boat” portages in order to stay within the deeper sections. Though not for everyone, this is a very special section of the Wolf, so wild that paddlers usually have stories to tell afterward, and are happy to have paddled on such a memorable trip.  Also, don't forget to visit at the "Black Hill Point" designated lunch stop, a relatively safe area to picnic, swim and simply enjoy the remoteness of this area. This area is great for family picnicking. The ideal water level to paddle this section is between 6.0 and 7.75 feet on the LaGrange river guage: Shallow water portages are sometimes necessary when water levels are below ideal levels.  Also, when water levels are up, only highly skilled paddlers, familiar with such conditions, should attempt to paddle this section. Efforts are being made to keep this section natural as possible, with minimum trail markers. The river here is naturally channelized, making the correct passage relatively easy to find. If in doubt, paddle with someone familiar with this section.  Unlike the Ghost Section, paddlers rarely become disoriented, venturing off the intended trail. The take-out is to the right just after passing under the one and only bridge on this section, the Yager Road Bridge.

  Directions on how to drive to Michigan City Put-in and LaGrange take-out: 

To reach the put-in near Michigan City, MS, by motorized vehicle, take Tennessee Highway 57 (Poplar Avenue Extension) east through LaGrange, TN, until it dead ends at Highway 18. Turn right (south) onto Tennessee Highway 18, which becomes Mississippi Highway 7 at the state line.  After crossing the state line, continue on down Highway 7 and cross the first bridge.  Take the next right at the intersection onto old MS Highway 7 and follow the old road southwest to the end.  The Conservancy negotiated with MDOT to leave in this portion of the old highway as parking and access to the Wolf River. Park on the right shoulder of old Highway 7 to allow other cars to turnaround and exit.  MAP

To reach the LaGrange, Tennessee, Yager Road access by vehicle, take Highway 57 east to LaGrange, Tennessee. Turn right at the flashing yellow light onto Main Street, which becomes Yager Road. Drive down the hill about 0.9 of a mile and turn right into the graveled parking area just before crossing the bridge. MAP

Vehicle shuttle between Michigan City and LaGrange is short. To find the shortest shuttle route, first time paddlers may need to use a GPS to navigate the gravel roads to river left (south side). Otherwise vehicle shuttle can be accomplished by reversing the arrival directions above.

For photos of the Michigan City to LaGrange section, click here.

© Wolf River Conservancy. All rights reserved. View Sitemap | Memphis Web Design by Speak

Land Trust Accreditation