Sweetwater Creek and Juniper Creek [CLOSED]

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Blackwater River State Forest

Sweetwater Creek and Juniper Creek is a 6.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Milton, Florida that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and canoeing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.8 miles Elevation Gain: 272 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash


nature trips

paddle sports





This trail is experiencing full or partial closure due to COVID-19. Please see the open trails nearby for alternate hiking options.

6 days ago

Plenty of parking in lots and on side of road. Trail is easily marked with great changes in scenery, dancing on and off the creek front. Not a clear ending point and we just kept walking until we came across a dirt crossroad and cutting back on that road to join up again closer to the beginning of the original trail to make it more of a loop and keep the scenery a good variable. Overall, we did 8 miles roundtrip. And would agree this is a moderate hike.

1 month ago

Really great hike. Pretty off trailed to a creek super fun.

4 months ago

The trail is good. Better for walking than running.

5 months ago

MY FAVORITE TRAIL IN THE AREA! Very well marked trail that follows the Creek. Trail goes further than the map says but didnt get to go any further today.

6 months ago

Excellent trail with a lot of great views of the river. First little bit was low growth and open views. Next bit was forest setting with twists and turns. My 7 year old and I hiked until about 1 mile past the shelter then turned around and came back. I will be back to finish it out! About 5 miles round trip the way we went. Parking for this trail is not at the bridge, but a designated spot up the road, but we parked at the bridge like the all trails map started us. You can walk down to the river here but you will have to hike a quarter mile up a road to get to the actual trailhead.

7 months ago

Great trail for Florida. Right by the river. Lots of spiders. Big, big spiders. So, if you do this trail, you’d better love spiders. Also, constant gunshots nearby, that were a little too close for comfort. So, be careful and wear your bulletproof vest. Not joking.

A lot of fun definitely go farther then the turn around point it’s a beautiful hike with great views!

Sun Feb 24 2019

amazing trail and beautiful views all along the river. So far this is my favorite

Thu Oct 25 2018

Nice trail, well kept up. Only one small section is really spidery. Start early and you’ll have the trail to yourself, we started seeing people within about a mile of tail head on the way back to the car mid afternoon.

Thu Nov 23 2017

great trail very clean and well kept

Mon Oct 30 2017

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.

Sat Sep 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.

Mon Jul 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!

Sat 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.

Tue May 16 2017

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

Fri Apr 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.

Sun Mar 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.

Mon Jan 02 2017

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

Wed Dec 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.

Sun Jun 26 2016

Awesome day hike, very well marked and maintained

Sun Jun 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.

Mon May 16 2016

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

Fri May 16 2014

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

Fri Mar 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.

Mon Aug 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.

18 days ago

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