First Annual

Buck Island River Race

 St Francis to Helena

October 5th, 2019


Event Info

The Buck Island Canoe Race will be the first ever canoe race on this section of of the Mississippi River. All proceeds from the event support the Lower Mississippi River Foundation’s educational programming that connects youth in the Delta to the Mississippi River.

Caution: The Mississippi River has strong currents and can be dangerous. Strong winds may create more challenges for paddlers. See Safety Information below for more on how to paddle the Mississippi

The Course:

The race begins at the mouth of the St Francis River and will travel 9 miles down the Mississippi River. The race will travel past Buck Island and end at the Helena River Park.

The Schedule:

7:30- 8:30 Registration at LMRF’s office (107 Perry St, Helena, Arkansas)

8:30-9:00 Drive to the mouth of the St Francis

9:00-9:30 Unload boats and prep for the race

9:30- Race begins!

11:00-12:00- Estimated arrival time at Helena River Park. The course takes 1.5- 2.5 hours to run.

11:30-1:00 - Celebration at Helena River Park

1:00- Shuttle back to start


All racers are responsible for shuttling their own boat to the start at the mouth of the St Francis River. LMRF will provide a shuttle back to pick up your car at 1 pm.

If you would like to have your car driven back down so it is waiting for you at the end of the race we will shuttle it for an additional $25 fee.

SAFETY Information

All racers must wear a life jacket at all times during the race. Each boat must also be equipped with a throw rope and bailer. Boats will be checked for safety equipment at check-in.

There are strong currents on the Mississippi River that can cause challenges for boaters. We recommend that one person in your boat is an experienced paddler. Learn more about paddling on the Big River at


Minimum Donation per person

$65- Early Bird Registration before September 21st

$75- After September 21st

All proceeds from the event help support connecting youth in the Delta to the Mississippi River.

Register online or by contacting the Lower Mississippi River Foundation at 870-228-2421 or

Other questions?

What types of boats can enter? Canoes, kayaks and SUPs of any size are welcome!

I don’t own my own boat, can I still participate? Rentals are available from Quapaw Canoe Company. Contact them to reserve yours.

Do I need to fill out a waiver? Yes, you will fill out a waiver during check in

I don’t want to race, can I still participate? Yes! You are welcome to watch the start and end of the race with us. You can also join the celebration at the end of the race. If you plan to eat please make a $10 donation to cover the cost of food. If you want to volunteer for the day you can eat for free! Contact 870-228-2421 if you want to volunteer.

Can a youth under 18 participate? Yes! A legal guardian must be present to sign the waiver for each participant under 18.

What should I bring the day of the race? We will send you a packing list when you register.

Where can I stay in Helena? Check out motel options in Helena. Camping is available at Mississippi River State Park. Several Air B&B’s are also available in town. Check out a list of other events and attractions in Helena to plan your trip!