Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Day Trips -- Strong River

[I will present a series of posts on local day trips. My family enjoys exploring our state on weekends, especially when the temperatures drop in the Fall. The kids, though they may at first grumble, always have fun and, if nothing else, learn something. The goal is to present experiences they share with their children.

You may have done some or all of these things I will blog about. If not, I encourage you to take your family for a drive, take plenty of pictures, and make some memories.]

(taken at the Highway 28 Bridge near Strong River Camp)

The Okatoma Creek is popular, but there is a quality float much closer to home. The Strong River, in neighboring Simpson County, provides beautiful sandbars, cool water, and an outfitter.

D'Lo Water Park is a part of the Pearl River Basin Development District and is located in the heart of D'Lo, Mississippi. There are a number of different float trips you can take, all detailed here. I encourage you to check the water gauge on the float trip page before heading to the water.  If the water is too low on the Strong River, you will not have fun.

The Hwy 13 to D'Lo Water Park Trip is good for a tube only when the water is high enough. It's so short, an inner tube is the best way to enjoy this trip. Plenty of good sandbars early in this float, but they disappear as you approach 49.  

The D'Lo Water Park to Merit Bridge trip is an easy trip. The water level is usually tolerable, there is plenty of shade, and crowds are non-existent. The only problem is a lack of good sandbars to pull over and play on. Also, as you approach your takeout at Merit Bridge, the river borders two large cattle farms. 

The Merit Bridge to Strong River Camp for Boys and Girls trip is peaceful, isolated, and picturesque. Again, there are few good sandbars until you approach the Camp. The takeout at Highway 28 is a bit steep. Overall, this is a good day trip to take in a kayak.
 (our camp on a sandbar about 1/2 a mile from the Bridgeport Bridge) 

The Strong River Camp to Bridgeport Bridge is my favorite section. You start off strong with the rapids at the Camp, then move into an uninhabited wilderness area, full of large sandbars, high bluffs, and nature.  It's a longer trip, perfect for overnight camping adventures.

(morning-time magic on the Strong River)

Tubes are just $10 per person.  Canoes range from $30 to $40 (for two people) depending on where you take out.

If you haven't spent time at the D'Lo Water Park, you may want to try it out.  It's remarkably well kept (thanks to the Simpson County prison trustees).  They have nice playgrounds for the kids, large ball parks to play on, pavilions and beautiful river frontage.  The RV pads have just been upgraded, though availability is limited. If you get a spot, the pads are large and the shade prevalent.  The primitive camping spots line the rapids on the river, so you can enjoy the sounds of running water to sooth you to sleep. If for no other reason, you can go to visit the location where "Siren Scene" from O Brother, Where Art Thou was filmed.

Another prime spot of Americana is located just west of the Merit Bridge, at the Merit Water Park, also administered by the PRBDD.  This is your old fashioned Mississippi swimming hole, near where Rials Creek runs into the Strong River. It's rudimentary, but its fun. There is a gravel parking lot right off Highway 43 South of the Merit Bridge (don't blink of you will miss the sign). There are picnic tables and plenty of space to run around.  The rapids in the park provide plenty of fun places to splash around. Don't let the port-a-potty or other scenery frighten you; your kids will.have.a.blast.  Here is a take from a first-timer from New Orleans, posted to the Nola website.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awww good stuff -- thanks for sharing this info!