Big Creek is an easy Class II creek with clear water. This stretch contains two shut-ins with Boulder Gardens. After the second shut-ins the river alternates between deep pools and fast shoals. After passing Blue Spring, on the left, one passes a few cottages known as the Battery and an old bridge turned into a pedestrian bridge. It is here that the creek passes through a remote scenic area inside Sam A Baker State Park. This remote section has steep bluffs and talus slopes.


Class II


The take-out is the parking lot behind the Sam A Baker State Park Office on Highway 143. To get to the put-in from the take-out take highway 143 North to Iron County Road 163. Iron County Road 163 will be on one’s right at a jog in the road. Take this road about 1/2 mile to the ford. Put in immediately above or below the ford. The approach to the ford is often washed out. This provides a 7 mile float. An alternative put in is at the 143 bridge at Des Arc. This upper put in adds two miles to the float with no shut-ins. The State park concession located in the gift shop can provide shuttle. The concession also has canoes and sit-on tops for rent. More info on the park can be found at their website


The level can be determined by checking the internet gauge. It can at times be run when the Saint is considered too low. 50 cfs is a minimum level for kayaks. At 400 cfs the boulder gardens are washed out but some new waves appear. While I have no experience running it higher than 400 cfs it should still be safe to run at levels higher than this.

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