A favorite destination for canoeists and kayakers, Blackwater River State Park offers opportunities for a variety of outdoor activities. The river is one of the purest sand-bottom rivers in the nation, making this park a popular place for swimming, fishing, camping, and paddling. Shaded campsites are just a short walk from the river and a picnic pavilion overlooks the river. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy strolling along trails through the more than 600 acres of undisturbed natural communities. In 1980 the park was certified as a Registered State Natural Feature for its exceptional illustration of Florida's natural history. One of the largest and oldest Atlantic white cedars stands among the many that line the river and, in 1982, it was recognized as a Florida Champion tree.
We wanted to park at Blackwater River State Park and hike to Red Rock Road. But with a 3 year old and 2 puppies, it was just too hot today.
We hiked on the Juniper Creek trail for a while until we found an easy entrance to the creek. It was a lovely spot. There was a white sandy beach on the opposite side of the creek, and a nice shallow spot on our side for the dogs and toddler.
The trail itself is pretty well maintained; there were a few large holes washed out and a few parts had prickly plants overgrowing the trail (WEAR PANTS), but the bridges were solid and sturdy and it was still easily traversed even with the holes and prickles.
There were also ticks. LOTS of ticks. And as you get closer to the creek, prepare for mosquito-geddon. There were so thick. But at the end of the day, we only ended up pulling around 4 ticks off our dog. Moral of the story... bring bugspray!
All in all, we liked this trail and thought it was worth the longish drive from Biloxi. We wish we could have seen more of it.
Nice trail to ride that doesn't require biking up steep hills. It's perfect for people that just want a leisurely long trail. There are a few bridges that cross over small creeks. I have seen many snakes in the creeks and along the trail route so be on the lookout for dangerous wildlife. I have biked this trail at least 3 times and every time has been wonderful.
Robin M. on Karick Lake South Campground
The Karick lake loop leads to the Red Bottom Trail which in turn links to the Florida Trail running along the Blackwater River. Lots of changes from long leaf pine forests to pristine white sand beaches. My friend and I did this in December almost 16 miles. In hunting season might want to wear orange. Lots of whitetail deer. Very fun hike.
The Juniper Creek trail section was great for an overnight hike trip. You have to leave your car at Blackwater park but trail access is just across the road. About 6 miles in you come to a nice shelter that was made for an Eagle Scout project which is where we set up camp. There is also said to be a football field campsite earlier in the hike but it I never saw it when going in or out. Also, there is some public hunting lands to the east/north east so you may hear some gunshots depending on the time of year. Overall, this section is well kept and an easy hike.
This is a perfect 3.8 mile loop trail for both adults and kids (8 and up). Hike around a 65 acre lake thru long leaf pine uplands. Yaupon holly and gallberry line a well mowed trail. This trail is maintained by the state forestry department. There are clean restrooms at the south and north campground. There are no fees to walk this trail. Wooden picnic tables are spaced along the lake shore. Hikers can do this loop as many times as they wish to log their desired distance. Gently rolling hills.
Juniper creek Trail is nice hike, of moderate difficulty that meanders along the edge of Juniper Creek for most of its eight mile lenghth, primary access to the creek is on the northern section, which I would recommend for day hikers, plentiful access to water and the white sand beaches makes this a very enjoyable section, also on this section hikers have access to a shlter and primitive camp sites. Anyone interested in doing an overnight, must park at the southern terminus of the trail, as it is not allowed at the northern end. One outstanding part of this trail that is a must see, is the bluffs at the north end, standing 50 to 60 feet above the creek they make for some excelent photo opportunites.