For paddlers of all kinds, Mississippi—which translates to “big river” in indigenous Ojibwe—certainly lives up to its name.

From the Delta flatlands to the rolling hills of Central Mississippi, the marsh-lined Gulf Coast and its namesake river, Mississippi abounds with publicly available natural resources for canoeing and kayaking.

“Mississippi is like an undiscovered gem,” said Kelly McGinnis, an avid paddler from the central part of the state and a nationally registered and wilderness EMT.

If anyone, he would know. McGinnis spends most of his summers as a master guide on the popular whitewater Ocoee River in Tennessee, but when he’s home he can be found paddling the nooks, channels and creeks that feed Pelahatchie Bay on the Ross Barnett Reservoir.

Download PDF

Originally published in Mississippi Outdoors, May/June 2016