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  1. #61
    Registered User bpitt's Avatar
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    I have found the mileage on the small map they hand out at the rangers station to be 'off' a fair bit. I have a full size map of the whole trail I purchased several years ago. But, I've been told they are planning on a new map since the trail has changed some since Katrina. I plan on being in the Wilderness area this week some as I'm off and wish to do some exploring down that way. I'll tote my machete and axe.
    "You hiked up a mountain? Why would anyone want to do that?"--question posed to me by friend

  2. #62

    Default Thru hike of BCT from western end to eastern end

    My two hiking buddies and I got a shuttle from Black Creek Canoe in Brooklyn and were on the trail by 2:00 pm on 1/13. We went 7-8 or so miles that afternoon, stopping about halfway between road 316 and the non-numbered forest service rd. We used the maps from Johnny Malloys book on Long trails of the Southeast even though it is somewhat out of date. It is better than the confusing printout "map" the usfs gave me. We hiked 20 miles (longest one day total for any of the 3 of us) on 1/14, stopping in the wilderness section giving us about 14 to finish up on 1/15. We were hiking by 6:30 to 7 AM those two days. We stopped by dark around 6 PM on 1/13 and hiked an hour or so into dark and stopped about 7 PM on 1/14. We made it out at Fairley Bridge landing about 4:25 PM on 1/15. That will give you a little bit of the time line and now I will try to give a description.
    If you read my posting from back in September, I mentioned the high grass, snakes and mosquitoes. Well, find the perfect, cloudless, cool weekend in January like we just had, combine that with the fact that the trail has recently been mowed and the trail condition couldn't have been any closer to perfect. It is almost like walking a golf course at times. The trail is mowed about 12 feet wide most of the length of the trail which makes it a little less primative, but better than the aforementioned grass, snakes and mosquitoes. I would advise not setting your tent up at night in the middle of the trail either as based on the tracks the trail is a super highway for deer and hogs. They might run through your tent. The wilderness section is much closer to what a wilderness trail would be, but all in all in very good shape itself.
    The trail leaves Big Creek landing skirting along the creek with great views and about 2 and 1/2 mile without any road crossings. There were no creek crosssings (the entire length) that were not negotiable either as it was dry this time of year. As I mentioned in my previous entry the entire length of this trail could be a very scary, dangerous place in a high rainfall event. After the first 3 miles or so the trail crosses 4 or 5 roads including hwy 49, a railroad track, and the trail has about a half mile walk along a driveway/road, a gas pipeline and would be hard to find a place to camp through here, without being very close to a road. Even the place we found to camp which was on a high ridge in hardwoods, was not secluded enough to get away from the noisy traffic of hwy 49 (even though otherwise it was secluded). After walking in temps in the 50's, temps this first night dropped to about 24 degrees. We saw one white tail deer that afternoon and heard several coyotes during the night.
    Walking in sub-freezing temps by 7:00 AM we crossed the high point of 270 ft of elevation (according to the Malloy book) and dropped in to a lower flat area of mixed hardwoods and pines (which is most of the forest along the trail), where we came to about a gravel road walk of a little less than a mile. We then walked parallel to the creek stopping for a 10:00 am breakfast on a sand bar in the creek. Shortly after walking the trail again along the creek bank we ran into the first person we had seed on the trail (a man from Baton Rouge who was doing a combo canoe hike, I think, he said).
    One of the surprising things about this trail is the hill climbs which we reached about mile 10 the the 2nd day of our trip. The few areas of elevation on this trail areas a bit surprising. After climbing some hills and crossing a couple of forest service roads, we entered a magnolia grove and shortly came by a cypress swamp. We then reached the point along the creek bank where we had camped back in Sept. The sand bar that was across the creek which we swam across to and walked along was completely gone. The creek is ever changing. At this point we are about half way along the length of the trail. We also then reach the area of the trail that has been re-routed away from the long knee deep water walk that we went through in September. The new route goes along a forest service dirt road for 3/4 of a mile or so (not an official road) and rather un-inspiring, but not through the water. We enter the wilderness section at hwy 29 at Janice about 5 pm om Sat the 14th. We had also done this section from the east and were somewhat familiar and planned to walk at least a mile in. There are some great areas with high bluffs above the side creek but not many great campsites through here. We continued on with the headlamps until we reached the hwy 29 bridgewalk. The only real negative experience on our trip was here in that we didn't realize the trailhead for the continuance of the trai was tucked up under the bridge and walked about a half mile up the hwy looking for the entrance before back tracking and finding it...Not marked well for finding in the dark.
    We walked on until we were probably a half mile past the trail leading to what used to be Andrews Chapel but which is now a bar. We found a tight campsite (for our 3 tents), and we could hear some cars but it was nice enough. We heard what we thought may have been a bob-cat during the night but don't know for sure, and some coyotes again as well.
    The last days trek was the best, I think, as we were in the wilderness section where we saw a couple of groups of 4 men camping and hiking and a family of 4 out for a day hike. The only negative to the wilderness section was around the Black branch area and the cypress swamp area there were several trees blown down across the trail which required some scrambling over, under and around (effects of Hurricane Katrina still evident). Once across Black branch heading eastward on trail this is the best area for campsites as it is high, flat, hardwood areas. (Like the AT and other trails you can find a suitable campsiste with in a mile or so from any point on the trail). I saw where some of the previous posts mentioned some work they had done and it was noticable. It is greatly appreciated.
    Crossing Mill Creek was really no problem if you go up stream about 20 feet and find the log bridge. Leaving the wilderness section and hitting the final 7 miles of the trail is back into the mowed, wide area of the trail and some surprising hills, open areas crossing gas lines, and back to parallel the creek (where we had lunch), a side trail mowed out to reach the sand bar and the last view of the creek before fairley bridge landing and the best hill section on the trail.
    If planning to do the AT or some other mountain trail this is your training area. On either side of FR 318B (Malloys book again) you can find climbs to rival climbs in the mountains. You probably would have to see them to believe it but the climbs are there. We saw a couple of wild turkeys in this stretch of the trail and one man out dayhiking from Lucedale.
    This was a great experience and a truly great trail with in the condition it was in and with the cool weather. It actually got up to 72 degrees and I thought we might see a snake on the trail, but didn't.
    I know this is kind of long and rambling but I tried to point out the highlights.
    I need to also post our section hike of the AT in NC from October and the snow we got into. Thanks to the usfs and the individuals for keeping the trail up. It was really nice. For anyone in the south MS, LA or AL area wanting a great easy to reach trail in cool weather The Black Creek Trail is a great experience.

  3. #63
    Registered User bpitt's Avatar
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    Wow, nice report!
    "You hiked up a mountain? Why would anyone want to do that?"--question posed to me by friend

  4. #64
    Registered User SMSP's Avatar
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    12-29-2008
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    Thanks for the follow-up. That Hills area is called Red Hills and yes, they are challenging. The closet thing we have here to real "ups and downs". I have some good maps I acquired from local ranger office that are scanned in .pdf. They have suggested marked camp sites. These are those big page maps that they use and are more current till they print a new map to the public. I got copies, reduce their size, highlighted the trail in yellow, and highlighted the creek in blue, then laminated them.


    SMSP
    South MS Patriot

  5. #65

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    I represent Wild South www.wildsouth.org here in MS and we would like to help with forest monitoring and trail work in the Black Creek & Leaf wilderness area in MS. We may have an opportunity to get some funding to help. Do you know of a group of volunteers that is familiar with the areas?
    Larry

  6. #66

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    Has anybody been out lately...even in the heat? Was just wondering about trail conditions hoping for a late August or early September cool spell? In 3 combined trips, kayaked and/or canoed Black Creek between Brooklyn and Fairley Bridge Landing (about 25 miles). Actually spent night Saturday night of Father's Day on the creek...dipped into the 60's. It was great! Check with Black Creek canoe rental if you need a shuttle, hiking or kayaking, either one. They will help you out at a reasonable price.

  7. #67
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    06-06-2012
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    South Mississippi
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    Planning a trip in October from Janice Landing to Brooklyn myself. I am also curious as to the trail conditions on Black Creek? If conditions are bad may postpone until November and go to Bankhead Forest/Sipsey River for a couple day hike.

  8. #68
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    10-02-2012
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    Brandon, Mississippi
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    Would any of you MS guys be interested in forming a group to section hike the AT?

    I'm up in Brandon and would like to start next year.

  9. #69

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    Went out into Black Creek Wilderness and did some bushwhacking off trail back in early december. Any body been out lately?

  10. #70
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    05-14-2011
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    New Orleans, LA
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    Trip Report -- Wilderness Section -- April 21-22, 2013

    I parked at the trailhead on Highway 29. I then crossed the street and started my way into the Wilderness Section. The trail initially goes east, then heads southwest as it follows Beaverdam Creek. After crossing Beaverdam Creek on the road bridge on 29, I followed the trail back up Beaverdam Creek (the trail goes northeast at this point) and then west and southwest along the Black Creek. Unfortunately, I was not able to complete the entire Wilderness Section due to time constraints. I had to turn back somewhere around the Black Branch creek. I backtracked until I found a good place to camp, which overlooked the Black Creek. The next day I followed the trail down Beaverdam Creek to a spot where a fallen tree that transected the creek was. I crawled along the downed tree to get to the other side of the creek, then bushwhacked my way back to the trail on the western side of Beaverdam Creek. That shortcut saved me a lot of time, and I was back to my car about 20 minutes later.

    Here are my observations:


    • The section I was on was generally well-marked. That said, there were a few instances in which I needed to search around to spot the next blaze. I would not recommend night hiking in this area.
    • The trail is in good condition. There are a few downed trees, but nothing to worry about, and no tall vegetation to deal with (grass, weeds, etc...).
    • Beaverdam Creek is easily accessible from the trail on its eastern side, and the trail does meet up with the Black Creek as well. I carried all of the water that I needed with me, but it would have be available if I had decided to pack less while hiking.
    • I did not see another person, and there were no obvious signs of use other than a minimal amount of litter in the vicinity of the trailhead.
    • The Wilderness Section is very shady. I did not use my sunglasses, and though I did use sunscreen the first day it was not necessary to do so.
    • I do not recommend using my “shortcut” across Beaverdam Creek unless you are fit and don’t mind a little (or perhaps a lot of) risk. The safe method would be to strip down, hold your pack above your head, and cross the creek. I was in a hurry and I hate getting wet, so I took the adventurous option.
    • If I make the trip again, I will enter the Wilderness Section somewhere on the western side a travel west to east. I missed the Mill Creek area, which sounds like one of the more interesting features of this section.

  11. #71
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    05-14-2011
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    Here is a map of the trail.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  12. #72

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    [QUOTE=T_Packer;1485279]Here is a map of the trail.[/QUOTE

    Try going in off of Melvin Breland Rd. Either way puts you in the prime areas of the trail IMO. Go west into wilderness and into Mill Creek area on down to bluffs over Black Creek. This is an area with some of the best camping spots Going East sends you through the best hardwoods and best hills on the trail.
    Kayaked from Janice Landing on Hwy 29 to Fairley Bridge Landing back in last week of May. A great trip every time whether hiking or yacking!

  13. #73
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    [QUOTE=blackwater slim;1489449]
    Quote Originally Posted by T_Packer View Post
    Here is a map of the trail.[/QUOTE

    Try going in off of Melvin Breland Rd. Either way puts you in the prime areas of the trail IMO. Go west into wilderness and into Mill Creek area on down to bluffs over Black Creek. This is an area with some of the best camping spots Going East sends you through the best hardwoods and best hills on the trail.
    Kayaked from Janice Landing on Hwy 29 to Fairley Bridge Landing back in last week of May. A great trip every time whether hiking or yacking!
    Thank you for the tip Slim. Do you know if it is legal to leave a car in the area of Melvin Breland over night? If so, then that's probably a better entry point than the trailhead parking lot off of 29 that I've been using. BTW doing the kayak thing sounds fun. I canoed the creek many years ago in college, and it was a great trip.

  14. #74

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    Yes T, There is a designated parking area at Melvin Breland Rd trail head. Big enough for 3 or 4 cars.

  15. #75

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    I hiked the section between Fairley Bridge Rd and Melvin Breland Rd this morning with two buddys (the Red Hills section), about 10 miles or so round trip. Weather was exceptional for this time of year. We were walking by 6:40 AM and were out at 2:10 PM. Stopped some along the way including a cool dip in Black Creek on the way back to the car. Grass and weeds were pretty high in places but it was passable. A nice trek. Was hot and humid as day went on but nice for this time of year with overcast skies and temps in the 70's to start. Saw 3 black snakes but no poisonous ones. This is the section listed in Backpacker magazine with the best view in Mississippi. Can't argue with that much in the winter with the leaves off the hardwoods but this time of year its beautiful, but no long views.

  16. #76

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    Black Creek Trail Overnighter
    Yolks and I went out on the Black Creek Trail through theBlack Creek Wilderness section this past Saturday, spent the night and came outSunday. Hitting the trail westward from the parking area on Melvin Breland Rd with milder temps(80’s) and lower humidity, it was a great day to be out. The trail is definitely due for somemaintenance but is still very passable and in decent shape most of theway. Mill Creek was running nice andclear and the crossing over the creek via downed trees (no bridge) is theeasiest it has been since I have been going here. Black Creek was up a couple of feet more thannormal and was running muddy (normally very clear) so apparently, it rainedsomewhere up stream. In the 6 miles into our campsite there are many good campsite selections, the best of which (morethan 1) are actually on a bluff 15-20 feet above Black Creek. The mosquitoes were almost non-existent (afew) but the spiders and their webs were across the trail all the way. Just knock the web out with your trekkingpole and trudge on. Chiggers weredefinitely a part of the lasting portion of the trip as I still have a lot ofevidence of those bites.
    There were several blow down’s but none were impassable witha little stepping over or walking around. One surprise that was fortunately not as bad of a surprise as it couldhave been was a HUGE Eastern Diamondback (I assume) Rattlesnake. He was so big he just didn’t blend into thetrail as he was laying length-wise in the trail to the right side. I did seehim and calmly (uncharacteristically regarding snakes) backed away from thestep and a half I was away from his rattle end. I took a couple of pictures that I will try topost though I’m not happy with the quality of the picture. I know it was stupid, but every snake I’veever seen will crawl into the woods if you prod them to. Of course, I shouldmention, I’ve never seen a rattlesnake in the wild. Well,when we tried that with this one, he bowed up. Also picture included, if possible. Well we went around through the woods to get by him and he was stillrattling as we walked on.
    Reaching the confluence of Beaverdam Creek and Black Creekwhere the trail turns to follow the former we took a momentary dip in the coldwater. There was clear water running outof Beaverdam and muddy from Black Creek. While we were preparing to move on atroop of Boyscouts came along. We visited a few minutes before they moved on inthe direction from which we came.
    We went on maybe another ½ mile and set up camp over thebluff on Beaverdam Creek. Temps were inthe low 60’s and it was a great night and an awesome cool morning. Yolks wastrying out his new Luna tent and I was trying out my new Lightheart Gear Solong6 (plenty of room) for the first time. Ribbons, another hiking acquaintance, walkedin a mile or more from Andrews Chapel and set up her hammock. After a good breakfast Yolks and I partedwith Ribbons with each of us heading back in the direction we had come. Humidity seemed to creep back up as it seemedawfully hot on the trek out. We were outby about 1 PM hoping to get to hit the trail again ASAP.


  17. #77

    Default here are the pics from above trip


  18. #78
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    Yesterday, I went out for a day hike in the wilderness area. It was my first time out there and wasn't sure what to expect after reading some info about the Desoto trails being over grown.

    I parked at Andrew Jackson and crossed hwy. 29 to pick up the trail. From the moment that I stepped onto the trail I was pleased. The trail looked great. There were a lot of downed trees but nothing that I couldn't step over except one or two that were pretty big. I just went around them.

    My only complaint would be that at some points in the trail they needed a few more blazes. For the most part you don't need any blazes at all. You just follow the trail but a few times I found myself wondering do I keep going straight or do I turn. After searching for a few seconds I found a blaze and knew which way to go. Just pay attention.

    I followed the trail up to the bridge at Hwy. 29, crossed the bridge and headed onto the trail along Beaverdam Creek. This area was a little over grown but it was manageable. I ended up going in for about 5 miles from where I started. About 10 miles round trip. I set up a little camp, had some lunch, and rested. After I rested I headed back to the car. It was a good day and I was the only person out there. I didn't see anybody at all.

  19. #79
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    I did an overnight trip last weekend. I followed the same route as my last trip. I parked at Andrew Jackson, crossed hwy. 29 and hiked about 5 miles in. I found a nice spot by the creek and set up camp. They cleared the trail since last time i was out there. The trees that were down across the trail were cut and the tall tall grass was cut. It was a very nice hike. It was a little cool overnight and the snakes were out the next morning trying to warm up in the sun. I saw three black snakes and one other snake that i think was a copperhead. He was in the middle of the trail and i almost stepped on him.
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  20. #80

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    yep...looks like a copperhead.

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