Black Creek is a National Wild and Scenic river in Southeast Mississippi, and it totally deserves that designation. The readily canoeable parts of the river comprise about 40-50 miles starting around Dantzler Camp south of Hattiesburg and winding past Brooklyn, MS through Desoto National Forest and the Black Creek Wilderness to end at either Fairley Bridge campground or the Highway 26 bridge outside Wiggins, MS. You can even canoe beyond that, but I hear it becomes slower and more like a bayou.
The river has good flow even in mid-to-late summer and there are developed National Forest campgrounds every ten miles or so. If you are not of a mind to camp at a developed campground there are plenty of sand- or gravel-bars along the river perfect for camping.
Someone mentioned a day or two ago that they might be interested in making Black Creek a destination for paddling with their dad, so I thought I’d point him (and everyone else) to the hands-down best source of info about canoeing at Black Creek (and elsewhere in Mississippi) – Ernest Herndon’s guidebook, Canoeing Mississippi.
The book has, of course, all the info you’d expect in a canoeing guide – info about put-ins, take-outs, river conditions, outfitters, and camping. But what really makes this book special is the
lagniappe! Ernest’s tales and anecdotes and piles of first-hand accounts are told in the engaging, down-home style that has made him famous in the outdoor scene in these parts.
I wouldn’t plan a canoe trip to Black Creek or anywhere else in Mississippi without this book.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia