Black Bear Wilderness Area Trail is a 7.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Sanford, FL that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
I definitely agree with the 'moderate' rating, not for the extreme beginners. despite the minimal elevation change, there was a lot of up and down and obstacles to hike around. I did this hike this morning for the first time and I loved it! A little buggy, but it is still hot season here in florida. I recommend bug spray. I love that the trail is mostly shaded, very fun trail overall!
I love this trail. I like how it's mostly shaded and I got to see a few alligators and exotic birds! I will be returning soon!
I loved this nature trial. Boyfriend and I were gonna do the entire 7 miles. Lol we made is 1.5 ! I seen a huge snake hiding behind the tree. Watch for them! Had a blast.
This is my favorite trail so far in Central Florida. It was scenic and more challenging than other hikes I've been on in the area.
Good hike, not too crowded and feels pretty remote at times. Decent amount of wildlife from a few gators and pygmy rattlers to a family of oblivious baby armadillos.
Great hike, mostly shaded with little breeze.
My youngest son loves this trail it is a must hike for a good short run
I haven't been on a hike in a long long time. For some crazy reason we decided that 7+ miles was a good place to start. The terrain was all over the place! Although it kicked my ass it was a great hike! Little to no mosquitoes. Very nice and shady. But with very little breeze and the humidity it was still hot. We started at 12:10 and were at Panera bread having a late lunch at 3:30- so not bad! I don't know that I would bring my dog, personally. If something were to happen to her I don't know that I could carry her the rest of the way out. Once you're in there you're in there until you make it out!
nice view of Saint John River.
Great trail. Definitely a challenge to the beginning hiker. Lots of great terrain, while it rained the night before it was slippery in few spots; have to watch you footing. we saw baby and big gators, water moccasins, raccoons, a very large soft shelled turtle. it was beautiful. Make sure to pack bug spray and plenty of water if going during the warm months.
It's long enough and I love the trial.
Great trail. So far my favorite in central Florida.
Lots of terrain changes for a central Florida trail. I saw alligators, otters, and an owl on the trail.
We hiked this on a rainy day and wound up slipping around quite a bit, but the varied wetlands sights and wildlife made it all more than worth it, and we're looking forward to returning on a drier day. We filmed our experience and edited it to some music in hopes it would help other hikers see what the trail has in store: https://youtu.be/SIJSoLlLUAA
This is a great Central Florida trail. Logging in at just over 7 miles, this loop shows off some great scenery and wildlife as you make your way around the loop. The trail is built primarily on a system of old levies which means it's elevated several feet above the surrounding wilderness. Not only does this provide great viewing, but it helps to keep the trail dry. The downside is there can be some challenging footing but that just makes it fun! After parking in the trailhead lot, you walk a short distance to the first of 14 boardwalks. You come to a fork in the trail and must decide if you want to go right (as the trail is designed) or left. The only benefit of going left is that there's a long double track straightaway about a mile in that's about a mile long. It's a pretty, shaded part of the trail but straight and wide. It depends on if you want to get that out of the way first and save the more interesting parts of the trail or run the trail counter-clockwise and hit this part at the end. Hikers seem to do it both ways and I honestly can't recommend one way or another. It's really a matter of preference. I did this trail in early March and there were no bugs but plenty of wildlife. Given the proximity to lots of standing water, my guess is the bugs would get worse in the summer months but that water and the trail's elevation are what make this hike such a great one.
We had a great day hiking with the 2 pups. Along the trail, we saw turtles, beautiful muddy cranes and other various birds of all sizes, a Pygmy rattle snake minding its own business, an alligator mama with her little babies, and even passed a Boy Scout troop! Ha. The trail was nicely maintained. Most of the trail is built up between two canals, and there is a few miles of a utility type road. (That portion was somewhat boring.) All in all, we had a great time and will hike this trail again.
Really cool, pretty birds, amazing wildlife including snakes, raccoons and gator!
Pretty cool place to hike, didn't know it was 7 miles round trip so I was a little worn out and tired by the end, but very scenic. It is a little rocky, lots of roots sticking out in the trials but easy to avoid. Nice little camping spot if you want to camp, overall a really cool place! Didn't see any bears but saw a couple alligators and snakes.