Black Bear Wilderness Area Trail

MODERATE 250 reviews

Black Bear Wilderness Area Trail is a 7.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Sanford, Florida that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
29 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
3 days ago

Narrow path. But awesome scenery. I prefer taking the clockwise route so the river can be seen on the way back. Gators and turtles are seen every time we go and the dogs are nice and exhausted by the time we’re finished.

hiking
4 days ago

Hiked this trail this week with my mother, and thoroughly enjoyed it! It took us 5 hours, but only because we stopped about once a mile to just sit and admire the scenery for a while. If you kept a brisk pace with minimal stops, you could easily do this trail in 2-3 hours. Would recommend to anyone who wants to see the real, natural Florida and its wildlife (we encountered lots of water fowl, song birds, squirrels, turtles, and one massive alligator!). We didn’t see any bears this time, but came across bear scat a few times

hiking
5 days ago

I love love loved this hike so much wild life and just a great time you get to climb over roots and walk on board walks I absolutely loved it and so did my dog!

walking
6 days ago

Loved this trail! We didn’t intend on walking the whole 7miles. But it was so beautiful out there we had to keep going. I’ll be revisiting this trail many times. We also learned that there is one camping spot available about halfway through the trail.

hiking
10 days ago

Great hike for sure! Terrain varied throughout and walking alongside the river was nice. Completed under 3 hours! Will return!

14 days ago

My favorite trail in all the area. Always see new flora and fauna.

15 days ago

Amazing trail. Scenic, tons of wildlife. Even on busier days, it's still quiet and clear.

hiking
18 days ago

One of my favorite trails in central Florida so far! We did the whole loop! We saw gators, snakes, raccoons, and more! The scenery changed from one mile to the next, and my dogs loved the different terrain!

nature trips
20 days ago

First longer adventure, 6 year old made it with minimal complaining, was dry and cool in the shade looks like it would be pretty swamped out in the summer. Trail is elevated so the veiws are great lots of different terrain. Good wildlife sightings, very big alligators.

hiking
20 days ago

Loved this trail. This was the longest trail Ive done so far and I loved it. Saw a baby rattler, baby gators and an 8-10ft gator. Beautiful trail. Cant wait to do it again.

24 days ago

This is a great hike! did this one in the rain, make sure you wear hiking shoes for this one! Did this one twice in 5 hours in the rain. Was nice and challenging.

hiking
25 days ago

Very unique and beautiful trail! You feel tucked away in bald cypress and swampy streams. Lots of wildlife (including 1 8ft gator basking in the sun). We walked about 2 miles in total to the banks of St. John’s River. Trail was well maintained with lots of roots and some small hills. Would love to visit again. ❤️

hiking
26 days ago

My husband and I enjoyed this beautiful trail, We were fortunate to photograph, a mother alligator and 2 babies, limpkins, a snowy egret, as well as great white egrets, ibis, anhingas, turkey vultures, a great blue heron, and bear scat! Although we were not fortunate enough to see a black bear. Maybe next time. We will definitely do this trail again!

27 days ago

I think everything has been said about this trail. We are visiting from Canada and hiked it 12/26/18. It was my most favorite hike yet. It is super easy if you are ised to climbing mountains - there are none of those down in Florida - but it is stunning. We saw many birds, a turtle and an alligator. I would go back any day.

hiking
1 month ago

Started the hike around 10am and finished it in 3 hours, even with a 15 minute break about 4 miles in. Didn’t see much wildlife but a great hiking trail nonetheless. A lot of roots on the trail which may make walking difficult. And I did have cell service throughout the whole hike.

hiking
1 month ago

First checked out this trail about a week ago and went counter clockwise until we reached the river. Definitely a moderately difficult hike, which required us to turn around due to poor preparation. Went back the next day well prepared and completed the 7.1 mile loop in about 3 hours. Absolutely beautiful! Saw many beautiful bird species, an 8 foot alligator basking in the sun about 30 feet from the trail, a very cute little river otter, and lots of bear prints and a few piles of bear scat. Didn’t see any bears, but will be going back soon! Favorite trail yet!

walking
1 month ago

This was an incredibly good surprise. Well marked trail and not challenging (although probably more difficult in summer). In three hours, I saw three Florida Black Bears (there’s only about 4,000 of them left) and 6 gators. The bears were extremely close, bringing into play your bear awareness training for sure. Beautiful wetland and forest scenery - and more wildlife than you will imagine. Don’t let anyone tell you Florida hiking is not worth it...

nature trips
1 month ago

@swamp_stompers had a great time today hiking this beautiful scenic trail. Lots of people out today taking in the sights. We went to the left first and got to come back with a lovely breeze from the water. Didn’t see any bears but spotted a Pygmy rattler and a cottonmouth. Very rooty so your feet end up hurting by the end of it all. Well marked and easy to navigate.

1 month ago

Terrific Florida trail. Lots of wildlife including; gators, deer, squirrels and diverse waterfowl. Highly recommended.

1 month ago

I love this trail! It's basically impossible to get lost since its just a loop and its great for wildlife sightings. Just yesterday we saw a black bear just off the trail around mile marker 5. I think I've run into at least one pigmy rattlesnake almost everytime I've been on this trail so be careful of that. Definitely watch where you step.

2 months ago

Awesome hike. Took my 120lb German Shepherd but .5 miles in I heard there were bear sightings. Just got a little spooked but we completed the loop. Saw alligators and heard plenty of noises. Best trail since I’ve been in Florida. No bugs either but lots of trees roots so watch your step. Take plenty of water.

2 months ago

Great hike lots of canopy for shade. We saw turtles, birds and snakes oh and a alligator. Watch your step lots of tree roots and stumps. We did whole trail took 3 hours for 7.1 miles with our faithful companion Pat our dog she was a trooper . We will definitely try it again.

hiking
2 months ago

What a contrast from the first time I did this trial. This time I brought my trekking poles. I did not start to rain it mile 3.6 like it did the last time. It’s interesting trail. Saw many many birds. One four-legged creature I don’t know what it was. Maybe a coyote. The trail was dry no bugs. Saw 2 people only

birding
2 months ago

Did not hike the entire loop because I spent a lot of time birding at the marsh. Saw a female Painted Bunting, American Kestrel, eleven Limpkins and other regulars. Very well maintained, easy to follow trail, cobwebs not bad at all. Also saw an alligator and got stung by a bee (unprovoked!) but that is how it goes in nature!

2 months ago

love this trail!! beautiful scenery and engaging footpaths. will be back!

hiking
3 months ago

It's pretty long but finished with my daughter in about 3hrs. Saw gator and owl which was really cool. Do bring bug spray cuz you'll def need it....and maybe a walking stick because the cobwebs are INSANE. Would def do again and think moderate is an accurate rating due to length.

3 months ago

Not closed any more!

4 months ago

Currently closed for flooding

hiking
5 months ago

This is a great trail. There are a lot of roots and depressions so be sure you have good footwear and have good balance. We have seen pigmy rattlesnakes the last two times we went. One was right on the trail and I stepped right over it. The second one was slightly off the trail. Neither moved and just stayed coiled up.

We went to go hiking yesterday here and learned that it was closed due to flooding. Hopefully it will reopen soon.

trail running
5 months ago

Love this trail for hiking / trail running. A few spots are flooded over right now, but easily crossable.

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