Wolf River Water Trails
The Wolf River Blueway offers several trails as well as different types of trails to explore the Wolf River and its nearby waters. Kayak and canoe within the river and St. Louis Bay, and a sail trail to Cat Island provide an opportunity for all types of adventurers to see the wonders of the watershed.
Little Bay Loop leaves and ends at Necaise Boat Launch. The 5 mile loop circles Little Bay just west of Wittman Avenue. From the boat launch, paddle northeast/north to DeLisle Bayou. See beautiful, large, historic oak trees and a few homes and piers along the northern shore of DeLisle Bayou. Once into St. Louis Bay, the trail turns south, following the western extent of the Wolf River marshes to the mouth of the Wolf River. From there, it’s a short paddle eastward back to the boat launch. Little Bay Loop provides a leisurely paddle and offers several short cuts and side adventures to fit your schedule and fitness level. Usually, kayakers will see a few fisherman along the banks and in small boats. Weekends bring heavier motor boat traffic which can be avoided by paddling close in to the marsh where you may see or hear shore birds such as marsh hens or clapper rails.
Grassy Point Trail is a 10.2 mile trip, one way to Diamondhead. Leaving from Necaise Boat Launch on the Wolf river, travel northeast/north to DeLisle Bayou and out to St. Louis Bay. Once in the bay, this trail meanders along the marshes of northern St. Louis Bay. Past Brassy Point, you may stop and stretch your legs at Shell Beach along the water’s edge. End the long paddle at the Marina Gazebo and Hula’s Bar and Grill where you may enjoy refreshments, lunch or dinner and see the beautiful view of St. Louis Bay from the decks. There’s a $5 launch fee at the marina payable to the honor box. The site offers parking and restrooms.
Wolf River Canoe Trail is a 15.2 mile, one-way trek from Cemetery Landing to Tucker Road. Privately owned, Wolf River Canoe & Kayak provides shuttle service and several trips depending on your schedule and interests. For more information about the canoe trail and outfitter services, call Wolf River Canoes, 228-452-7666.
Cat Island Sail Trailis approximately a 51 mile round trip from the Wolf River to Cat Island. If conditions allow, sail from Necaise Boat Launch across St. Louis Bay and the Mississippi Sound to Cat Island. The western part of the island is now part of Gulf Islands National Seashore.
Cat Island is a unique “T-shaped” barrier island created by colliding Gulf of Mexico currents. On Cat Island, the sand beaches give way to dense forests of slash pines and live oaks. Bayous and marshes on Cat Island are home to alligators and refuge to migrating birds.
Bells Ferry Trail is a 9.8 mile round trip from Necaise Boat Launch up the Wolf river 4.9 miles to Bells Ferry Preserve, a natural area managed by Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. There is no loop by plenty of marsh to keep you interested on the way back to Necaise Boat Launch. At the DeLisle Coastal Preserve, there is a nature trailhead on Bells Ferry Road (accessible by car) that provides a nice half hour walk to the river’s edge. Currently there is no ramp or take out, but the trail may be accessible from the water in the future.
The Wolf River was named for the red wolf, once found throughout the southeastern US. Although you won’t see any red wolves along the river today, you may see plentiful other wildlife including fox, coyotes, deer, turkey, rabbits, and many songbirds.
Just east of Poplarville, Mississippi, the Wolf River starts its 66 mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico in the Piney Woods, a sandy region populated mostly by pine trees. As the river meanders past long white sandbars pine trees give way to tall cypress, tupelo, and gum trees in the mysterious swampland next to the river. Closer to the mouth of the Wolf, the river widens and deepens and many of the trees are replaced with broad views of tidal marsh.
Choctaw and Creek Indians were once numerous in the Wolf River Watershed. Shell middens, or mounds, in the lower part of the Wolf River are reminders of their lives – and their love of shellfish. A shell midden is a type of archaeological site made up almost entirely of shells. Over time, plants and then trees will cover some of the shells, eventually forming an island of forest.
As white settlers moved into the area, the forests were harvested for the longleaf pine and hardwoods along the river for ship building and farming purposes. The area also has a colorful history of outlaws, including the rival Wages and McGrath gangs whose crimes were responsible for the naming of Murder Creek.
Chosen as the first Scenic Stewardship Stream in the state of Mississippi, the Wolf River is a place of stunning natural beauty known for its white sandbars in the upper portion of the river and for its expansive salt marsh views at the mouth of the river.