Explore the most popular hiking trails in Blackwater River State Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

My husband and I TRIED to take this trail today and I was VERY disappointed. The beginning of the trail was not easy to identify because it was covered by overgrowth. There is only parking enough for 2 cars. The first half mile out was covered in sticker bushes and once you reached the power lines it became non passable. We also could not tell which way to go from there since it was not marked so we turned around. Hopefully this one gets better because we had higher hopes for it.

2 months ago

This is blackwaterray and Linda. We are the trailmasters of the Blackwater river trail. Also know as the Hutton trail. We maintain it and all the bridges and blazes.
We are working on getting the .4 mile power line hike back into the woods and crossing the power line.
It should be open by 10-1-18. more rest bench's are coming.

This is an excellent trail in the blackwater state forest. A lot more fun north bound than south bound.

I love the AllTrail App because most trails are not well marked. This trail is very well marked and enjoyable. Thank you to the volunteers for maintaining the trail!

Awesome trail

trail running
10 months ago

great trail ... well kept

great trail very clean and well kept

Fun hike. After the first half mile or so the trail meets the river and then flirts with it for the next couple of miles, bringing you right up to it several times throughout the hike. It is part of a larger trail and so there's not exactly a turn around point, I went another mile or so past the end of the trail on the app. The trail is well cut and very well marked. It was muddy and wet at some points but nothing that could not be avoided. Decent amount of roots.

Lots of mosquitoes but they were only bad when I stopped moving. Were also a decent amount of spiders with large webs right next to the trail. I saw 4 different kinds of mushrooms although I have no idea what kind they are. I also saw several deer including a fawn. Had the entire trail to myself.

The shelter and geocache were cool to see.

11 months ago

Part of the Florida Trail system. I just did this small segment as an out and back. If you are looking for a scenic trail, go south on the Jupiter Creek trail. If you just want to explore a different trail and like trail running, I'd recommend this one. There is absolutely no water on the portion I completed. The southern trail follows the creek, and you would think this one would too, but it veers off to the east instead.

Even though I went on a relatively overcast day, I was still pretty hot. There isn't much tree cover, just sparse pine trees. My poor doggo was dying from the heat, so plenty of water for your four legged friends is a must, especially dousing them when they get too hot.

If you are looking for a trail of endless pine trees, you have found it! I recommend this for an avid hiker looking to put some miles in, or better yet a trail runner that will run through this fairly boring stretch quickly. The ground is relatively flat and well marked, with minimal roots popping out. There was one tree canopy that had fallen over the trail about 0.5 miles out that you have to walk through the vines next to the trail, but besides that it was well kept. Could be a nice trail to park two vehicles and through hike it to Bear Lake.

11 months ago

Hurricane Lake is huge! I have not found a true 'loop' around the lake such as the ones around Karick or Bear lakes nearby, but decided that doing a little out and back to the Blackwater River could be fun. I started at the quiet "North Hurricane Lake" campground, and parked my car at the boat ramp there. Its fairly cheap, I think about $2 per person. I have a yearly pass that is good for any Florida state forest for only $45. If you don't want to support the Florida forest system, you can probably park at the bridge that goes over the Blackwater River along Kennedy Bridge road and hike it backwards.

The trail itself is actually the Florida Trail, so it kind of goes indefinitely south, or to Alabama to the north. I did just 2.5 out and turned around. Honestly I was pretty surprised; it was gorgeous. I mean it is still Florida though. You first hike over the dam of the lake, then it tracks through pine forest that had been burned a year or so ago. There wasn't much underbrush, but instead tall grass filled with various wildflowers. It felt kind of meadow-y. It was very very peaceful, and I didn't see another track on the trail. However, the trail had been mowed fairly recently which made me feel better about spotting any potential slithering creatures.

There are a few little signs along the trail that have fallen into disrepair that were there to mark certain plant species. I did this hike on the first day of fall weather for NW Florida, and can imagine that it was in the middle of summer would be really hot. So, plenty of water for summer, and maybe bug spray even though I didn't encounter and problems with bugs. The trail itself is marked pretty well with blue blazes. Every once in a while there were fallen trees that had at one time marked the trail, so I had to refer to the satellite map to keep me on track. Another note, if you are like me and like to download the maps from this app onto your phone, do so BEFORE you get to the campground. There is zero service for me at the campground (ATT), and occasionally one bar would pop up randomly along the actual trail. Other than that, if you are looking for some solitude, head out here. It was so absolutely peaceful, and the campground itself seemed really nice and quiet if you want to do some camping as well.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Absolutely my favorite hike in the NW Florida Panhandle. And recently made even better because there has been a new trail segment cut into the brush that starts at the trail head parking area and intercepts the trail. So, now you don't have to walk along the road to get to the trail head if you park in that area!

The trail follows the creek after the first half mile or so. It can be heavily trafficked on a Saturday morning in the summer, but other than I see few people. The trail is technically a northern offshoot of the Florida trail, so you can go as far as your heart desires to the south, or Alabama to the north. After about 4-5 miles to the south the trail veers from the creek and gets hot and boring fast. If you want to do a through hike, bring a friend and park a car at the Blackwater State Park roadside river parking lot to the south, and then drive back up to Red Rocks road to the trail head.

My pup loves this trail as it has plenty of space to run and spots to take dips in the cool creek. I've surprisingly never had to use bug spray on this hike. You would think with such close proximity to water there would be tons of mosquitos, but maybe one or two at a time. I don't stop much while hiking though, so that probably helps.

Trail is starting to get more vegetation growing on it. The first time I walked this trail 4 months ago it had been recently maintained, and it is amazing to see how fast the native flora is growing back. The pine tree saplings have nearly doubled in size! But it is still passable and navigable for a 5 mile out and back. After which, at Deer Lake road the forest has taken back over the trail and thick low growing vines with vicious thorns claw at your legs.

There are blue blazes on trees to mark the trail once you are past the boring, spiderweb ridden first half mile of pine trees, and you usually have at least one blaze in sight at all times. I have cell service for this entire trail, so if you are not confident in the blazes just whip out your phone with this app and follow my previous tracks in real time. The last poster seems to have just followed the forest service roads and not the actual trail.

Great trail to get away from people and let the pup stretch her legs. No bear or bear sign sighted this time. Just one extremely ambitious armadillo.

If you're looking to see animal tracks this is the place to go. I'm learning more of them as I go. Their previous author is correct there's no parking at the trailhead, and I did just park on the side of the road. But it made me nervous. I like the idea of parking back at Harold's. Really there was so many tracks it was unbelievable in the sand. And you won't see anybody. I thought maybe on the day of the eclipse a few people in there. But then again it was lightning and I did leave a little earlier than I planned. The trails are not well marked as the other author said. I really couldn't figure anything out on my GPS. Next time I'll get the real map which is on sale at Harold's

Monday, July 31, 2017

Beautiful hike with a mixture of open areas, swampy lands, and dense forest. Be prepared to use a lot of insect repellent to repel the man eating mosquitoes and bring lots of water!

Well maintained

Saturday, May 20, 2017

We hiked some unmarked trails around the river. Lots of spiderwebs, that my fiancé made me walk through lol. We finally got on the main trail.
Very quiet once you get a little away from the road the wind through the trees was beautiful.
We went toward the river and found those clay cliffs. They are A-Lot bigger than they seem
In the pictures. Love the elevation differences.
We didn't get to go too far because of time constraints, will be going again.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

love the Sweet water trail beautiful boardwalk great for pushing kids in a stroller...

Long winding trail. Not maintained... Sad

Interesting trail- It's a side trail of the Florida Scenic Trail. I Parked along the road at the trailhead, but if you are looking for some security for your vehicle you should park at the Harold Store across I-10. The first 0.6 miles is through a young pine tree plot that was re-planted just a few years ago. But once you get through that it drops down into the trees and runs along burnt grocery creek. I did not see another human footprint, so it seems this trail is rarely if every traveled. Because it is part of the Florida trail, this trail doesn't ever really end, its just a matter of how far you want to hike out. It eventually drops down to the Yellow river and then runs east/west along that. Because there is little human traffic, I luckily sighted a bear that seems to find this trail home currently. Lots of fresh bear signs including tracks, scat, and tree scrapings. It was a single bear that had no interest in meeting me. If you are feeling adventurous and want to spend the day hiking away from anyone but bears, hit this trail up. Most of the part that I hiked was down in a ravine covered with a thick canopy of hardwoods, so there was plenty of shade after that first 0.6 miles.

Friday, April 14, 2017

GORGEOUS hike for Florida. I wasn't able to hike out too far on it because of time constraints, but it was super peaceful. You first have to hike down the road a little ways to get to the trailhead, but after getting into the woods a little ways there is no other noise except of the forest. This is not a typical pine tree/mini palm hike that I have encountered in florida. The entire hike runs along the creek and has plenty of large hardwoods and spots to sit down and enjoy the quiet. Highly recommend doing this hike, especially early in the morning or late in the evening.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

We walked about 3 mi south and then chose to make a loop rather than walk back to the parking on Red Rock Rd. I enjoyed the hike very much.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Good local place to go get a good sweat in. The trail more or less parallels the creek.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Good hike! Kid and dog friendly as well. Will definitely be doing it again when it's warmer just to be able to enjoy the river after working up a sweat.

Awesome day hike, very well marked and maintained

Sunday, June 26, 2016

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.

Well maintained. Trail clearly marked, plenty of opportunities to jump in the creek along the way.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Have walked this trail many times. One of my fav. You can always fined something new on this trail.

Friday, March 08, 2013

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.

Monday, August 15, 2011

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.

12 days ago

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