View Full Version : Black Creek Trail

2003-01-16, 13:36
This is a trail in southeastern Mississippi, just north of Wiggins. It more or less follows the Black Creek (surprise) through the Desoto National Forest. It's officially listed at 40 miles, but I think it's more like 30 total miles. This mileage comes from the TopoUSA software. In my experience, the software is correct as my GPS waypoints were right on the money and my hiking pace confirms it. About 7 miles of the trail run through the Black Creek Wilderness Area.

It is a beautiful and easy hike through piney forests and bottom land. At certain times of the year (spring especially) the bottoms can be very swampy, but there are boardwalks across the lowest areas and lots of little bridges. There are numerous sandbars on the creek which are great places to camp (during low water) if you can stand the sand getting into everything. There's no problem at all finding flat spots to set up camp, but I prefer to use established campsites of which there are several. The trail markings are inconsistant. At some places the trail is overly marked and others, not at all. Just be careful not to hike too far when you run out of blazes (white diamond shapes). As I said, the hike is easy. I think the largest single elevation gain is something like 60 ft. and there are not many.

The best time to hike Black Creek is November thru April. Any other time and the mosquitos would be unbearable. Just be careful and wear orange, this is hunting season. All the hunters I ran into were at least as careful as I and their dogs were only interested in running deer or squirrels.

BTW - someone posted earlier that he heard there's no camping allowed. That's totally in error.

2003-01-16, 13:44
cool, i finally graduated to "member"!

2003-01-18, 01:17
I get a Monday off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day at school, and I'm plenty thankful for that. Weather.com tells me that tonight it's supposed to get down to some horrible temperature like 16 or so, and although I'm desperate to get out, I'm not that desperate. Saturday and Sunday night are projected at being in the low 20's and low 30's respectively, and with my bag I can stomach that. The bottleneck for me is my dog; the 20 degree bag that I have (and a silk liner) would let me go, but my dog only has my old sleeping bag. I also let him use my ridgerest. I'm pathetic as hell, acknowledged. I like the beast.

It's hard to configure a dog into a mummy sleeping bag, but it's worked before and I'll do it again. Just not at sub 20 degrees.

I pack heavy because I carry for me and my beast, even though the dog has a pack. My dog's pack has a bunch of dog food in it, a dog jacket, my sleeping bag liner, steel food and water bowls, and a widemouth Nalgene bottle to recollect what he doesn't drink if that's an issue. I kind of doubt that it will be, because the trail follows the creek (so I've read).

I've never been, and even though it's supposed to be fairly benign terrain, I'm stoked to go. I'd prefer going over to the Sipsey but the temperature forecasts over there for the weekend are not conducive to being comfortable and/or staying alive. So, I'll try something new.

With some luck I'll remember to pack a digital camera and I'll take some pictures, and be able to post some kind of report to this thread. I'm looking forward to it.


2003-01-18, 09:47
hope you and dog have a great hike! i remember last year, about this same time, our water bag froze overnight while tenting on a sand bar. brrr! no problem finding water, not only is there black creek, but also numerous small creeks you'll cross along the way.

2003-01-21, 19:01
It was a pretty good walk, all told, but a little bit shorter than I had planned.

The drive there was a little bit longer than I had expected and I didn't get out of the car at the forest/wilderness border (the 10 mile section) until about 3pm. I don't know what it is about me, but I can never get to a trailhead before 3pm and I'm always reliable about not showing up later than 3pm.

It is still deer hunting season down there, so I wore some orange and tied orange bandanas to the dog and we set out. I only saw two people looking at a map at the trailhead and nobody on the trail. The terrain was typical Mississippi flat, but the scenery was nice. Lots of curled up rhotodendrons and craggy vegetation along the way and some big old trees. There was evidence of some pretty massive creek flooding at one time; more than once I saw big chunks of tree trunks lodged horizontally in the branches of other trees. Even though it looked like it was pretty dry out there, the little footbridges that had been placed were helpful and would have been great if the place was soggy.

Here's what stood out about the trip: we picked up another member on the trail. It looked like a hunter lost one of his dogs several days or maybe even a week or more ago, and she walked right up, plopped down, and never left. I felt bad for her because she was so hungry, and something was really wrong with one of her eyes: it looked like a very large and melting styrofoam peanut. She had a tag on her collar with a phone number, so I decided to let her follow and give her owner a call when I got back to the car. I gave her some of my dog's food and some rice with tuna to fill her up and let her use my sleeping bag liner at night.

It was a constant hassle though, because I have a boy dog and she is a girl dog, and sometimes boys and girls like to go out for a couple of drinks. Every time I wasn't looking, my dog was trying to pull a smooth move on this emaciated, injured, and possibly diseased dog. I eventually just tied him to a tree with some 550 cord that he chewed through three times. A fine use of cord.

Back at the car and the phone, as it goes, I discovered that the owner's number was no longer in service and I was stuck with his sick dog. In the end, I dropped her off at an animal shelter two towns away. The people there said that they'd do what they could to go through the phone books and find a recent number for the guy.

Anyway, this isn't about the trail so much as what happened on it, so if this post is out of place feel free to trim it or delete it. In short, the Black Creek trail was a good place to go in a pinch.


SGT Rock
2005-02-18, 19:01
Looking for directions from Hattiesburg to the trail.Anyone?

2005-02-19, 09:37
Even though it is a bad number, you may try to put his number into this Reverse directory look-up (http://www.anywho.com/rl.html) to find something.

ROCK - I highly recommend using Microsoft Mappoint for directions. I have a European version of it that works great for finding just about everything over here.

You can access it online at MapPoint.com (http://mappoint.msn.com). There you can search for the place you are looking for and then get driving directions to it. Works well. Lots of features.

Hope it helps.

2005-02-19, 09:43
Looking for directions from Hattiesburg to the trail.Anyone?

Very general directions (http://maps.msn.com/directions.aspx?&StartName=Hattiesburg%2c+Mississippi%2c+United+Sta tes&StartLocation=31.32730%2c-89.29060&EndName=DeSoto+National+Forest+(national+forest)%2 c+Mississippi%2c+United+States&EndLocation=31.05572%2c-89.01439&DataSetLangID=USA&RouteType=Quickest&RouteUnit=Miles)

From: Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States
To: DeSoto National Forest (national forest), Mississippi, United States

2008-07-29, 13:59
We did the section from Big Creek to Janice landing (about 22 mi) this past weekend. This section has been essentially closed since Katrina, until this past April when the Forest Service contracted somebody with a bulldozer to clear this section. The section traversing the "wilderness" is still closed.The proprietor of the canoe rental place who gave us a shuttle was disgusted with this process, saying it really changed the hiking experience. Since I had never hiked it before, I can't personally vouch for any difference, but I will say, this isn't much of a trail at this point. It is more or less a corridor and you find your way through the briars and shoulder high weeds in many areas. The plastic diamond markers on the trees were pretty consistent in most areas so you could stay on course. Many of the bridges and wood foot paths were in bad shape, but thankfully, it had been quite dry, so there wasn't much marshy areas and you didn't need them, although I expect that would be different during a rainy season. You will need the forest service map, as there is about a quarter mile section where you follow a road and take a fork and there are no markers along this secction. There were some appealing sections through more wooded areas with lots of small gnarled Magnolias (I think this is what the previous poster indicated as Rhododendrons, which do not thrive in MS). It was nice to follow the creek in sections, but you need some serious bushwacking skills to get down to it to swim, at least this time of year. There is a municipal water source at Moody Landing, about 14 miles from Big Creek and 8 miles from Janice Landing, but you will have to swim the creek to get to it. Other than that, there were only rare places suitable for collecting drinking water. The only wildlife we saw was a single snake, single hare, and tons of wood spiders traversing the trail. I took my GPS pedometer and it lasted until mile 17 when the battery ran out. It seems the mileages on the map were pretty accurate. I've seen it posted elsewhere that the mileages may be overestimated. Another thing of note, Camp Shelby is nearby and these guys practice ALL NIGHT long. If you are a veteran, this might trigger some stress disorder, listening to shelling and machine guns all night long. Overall, this was a challenging hike for us, not because of any ascents/descents, but because of the extreme heat (I know we're crazy to do this in July!), lack of water, and overgrown condition of the trail.

SGT Rock
2008-07-29, 16:00
That sucks.

2011-09-16, 20:12
Hey Chief,

Thanks for the info, I am looking for a GPS track of the Black Creek Trail, you wouldn't happen to have kept that data from your hike would you? Even just the GPS waypoints you mentioned would help me out alot. I am making a map. Or if anyone else has any data. When I finish it I'll post it here.

Thanks So Much,

2011-09-16, 21:16
That was posted in 2003... You might want to PM him if he's even still around...

2011-09-17, 03:07
Ok Cuff's I PMed him... now we'll wait and see if he's still around... His last post was 08-19; only nigh a month ago, so I bet he is still alive, and hiking somewhere...

2011-09-18, 00:05
Sure I'm still around.

As to the Black Creek data - it was still on the GPS when I gave it to a friend a few years ago. Unfortunately he later traded the GPS for a knife. So, my last hope is I have it archived on a CD somewhere. I'll let you know if I find it, but the prospects are very low.


2011-09-18, 02:33
Man that would be great, thanks for looking!


There is what I have so far, a work in progress but it is shaping up. I am going to find the extreme upstream part tomorrow. I do not know if I have a copy of the Cypress to Fairly stretch, I may have to make a float trip just to get the data again LOL!


Manchu Infantry
2011-09-21, 10:22
Black Creek has been our favorite local spot for our 3-day canoe-camping trips. Have never hiked here so will try it out in two weeks since son and I are getting ready for the AT in October. I need good elevation but this will do.

As far as Camp Shelby, yeah, they have been real busy since 2001 for obvious reasons.