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Little River, Arkansas
Report by Marc W. McCord

Millwood Lake to Red River Confluence
~ 15 Miles

General Description

Below Millwood Lake the Little River flows about 15 miles to a Hempstead County road between McNab and Washington just below the Red River confluence north of IH 30. Texarkana is less than 20 miles to the southwest and Little Rock is about 125 miles to the northeast. The river flows as a flatwater stream of immense natural beauty through rural Hempstead County a few miles southwest of Old Washington Historical State Park. This reach is an easy run that is well suited for paddlers of all experience levels, offering no hazards or whitewater excitement. Flows are regulated by releases at Millwood Dam, so the river is usually navigable. Trips can end at either the Hempstead County Road or US Highway 67 bridges just below the Red River confluence, or paddlers can continue on downriver on the Red to any access point on that stream in Arkansas or Louisiana. There are no river-related services along this reach of the Little River, so paddlers need to be fully outfitted with everything they need for boating the river in canoes or kayaks. Rats can run this river, but the going will be slow and uneventful.


Hempstead County just northeast of Texarkana and ending southwest of Hope near IH 30. Millwood State Park is located above the dam at the put-in, and Old Washington Historical State Park is near the take-out to the northeast.

Distance from major cities

Little Rock 170 miles; Texarkana 25 miles; Fort Smith 155 miles; Oklahoma City 325 miles; Dallas 206 miles; Austin 401 miles; San Antonio 480 miles; Houston 314 miles; Kansas City 476 miles; Albuquerque 871 miles; Phoenix 1,208 miles; Denver 950 miles; Salt Lake City 1,426 miles (all distances are approximate and depend upon starting point, destination point on the river and route taken.)

Water Quality and Flow Rates

Water quality is usually very good to excellent flowing clean, clear and cool from Millwood Lake to the Red River. Navigable flows are dam-release dependent, and the river normally have adequate water for paddling canoes, kayaks and rafts.

Best Times to Go

This reach of the Little River almost always has adequate flow for boating. The best combination of weather and flow will be found in spring and fall months.

Hazards to Navigation

There are no major hazards to navigation on this reach of the Little River. It is runnable by paddlers with limited experience.

River Access Points

Below Millwood Dam at Millwood State Park near SH 32 at 0.0 miles; Hempstead County road between McNab and Washington on the Red River just below the confuence at about 15.0 miles; US Highway 67 bridge on the Red River at about 17.0 miles.

Campgrounds and Accommodations

Millwood State Park on Millwood Lake just above the dam offers excellent camping facilities and is close to the river access just below the dam. There are no campgrounds along this reach of the river. The short distance and close proximity to Texarkana make this a perfect day trip.

Liveries, outfitters and shuttle services

There are no outfitters located along this reach of the Little River. There may be outfitters in Texarkana who can provide rentals, shuttles and information about river conditions. It is best to take everything you need and run your own shuttles.

Reviewer's comments

The last 14 miles of the Little River, ending one or two miles below the Red River confluence, is a scenic flatwater float trip that can be enjoyed by those with limited paddling experience. The surrounding area is undeveloped, though it is very near Texarkana and Hope. The Little Missouri and Ouachita Rivers are just a few miles away to the northeast, while the Cossatot and Saline Rivers are just a short distance to the north. Oklahoma's Little River headwaters, the Kiamichi and Mountain Fork Rivers, and Buffalo and Bok tu kolo Creeks are all great paddling streams not too far to the west of this reach. Take along a lunch and a camera to enjoy a great river near the Arkansas borders with Texas and Oklahoma.

Technical Data
Class Rating I
Length 15 miles
Min. Stage feet
Opt. Stage feet
Max. Stage feet
First Put-in Below Millwood Dam
Lat. / Long.
Last Take-out US Highway 67 bridge
Lat. / Long.
Elevation msl
Gradient fpm
USGS Gauge Web:
Boats Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts
Season Anytime, weather permitting
Permits No

Arkansas Canoe Club - Promoting the sport of paddling

Canoeman River Guide Service - Guided river trips in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah

Lone Star Paddler - the paddlesports web site of Marc W. McCord

Click the links below for information regarding the section of the Little River and its tributaries where you want to paddle.

[ Little River Homepage ] [ SH 14 to Millwood Dam ]
[ Upper Cossatot River ] [ Lower Cossatot River ] [ Upper Saline River ] [ Lower Saline River ] [ Baker Creek ]

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Last updated January 9, 2010

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