|Big Creek Landing to Rockhill-to-Brooklyn Rd. (Rt. 335) (2.9 miles): The trail follows Black Creek closely through mature loblolly pines and southern magnolias.|
|Rockhill-to-Brooklyn Rd. (Rt. 335) to Point Where Trail Leaves FS 319F-I (6.5 miles): Here the trail turns south away from the creek, taking you through loblolly and longleaf pine forests with hardwood bottoms between Rt. 335 and U.S. Hwy 49. You can explore the site of an abandoned Civilian Conservation Corps camp and find old roads and concrete foundations. This is the least wild section of the trail. It goes around the edges of several recently logged areas, and follows a road (FS 319F- 1) for 0.4 mile.|
|FS 319F-I to FS 319G (7.0 miles): This segment begins with a delightful walk along an entrenched meandering stream lined with impressively large trees (southern magnolia, beech, water oak, etc.) until you reach the edge of Black Creek. East of the next tributary creek crossing, you walk through the lower edge of a recently logged area. Much of this portion of the trail is on higher ground through pines. Overall, it's a pretty segment.|
|FS 319G to State Hwy 29 (6.8 miles): You start down a grassy lane through pines and descend to a wild section along Black Creek until you reach some recent logging. Then the trail goes through more pines and descends to a flat area with dense understory. A long part of the trail is on split-log "stepping stones." Nonetheless, plan on getting your feet wet, because shallow water may also stand in other portions that lack stepping stones or boardwalks. Next, the longest boardwalk on the trail takes you over a pretty swamp that is not shown on the map.|
Finally the trail returns to the creek. Near this point, perhaps on the sharp bend of Black Creek, Joseph Mimm had a ferry in the early 1800s for travelers on the long-abandoned Old Federal Road. It went from Fort Stoddert on the Tombigbee River in Alabama west to the John Ford house in Marion County and on to Natchez. Andrew Jackson and his army camped here on the night of November 25, 1814, on their way to the Battle of New Orleans. Between here and Hwy 29 you will cross and recross a recent low-standard logging access road.
|State Hwy 29 Parking Lot to Hwy 29 Bridge over Beaverdam Creek (2.7 miles): Here the trail enters the Black Creek Wilderness. It follows the west side of Beaverdam Creek through dense woods, skirting the edges of deep, flat-bottomed ravines studded with bald cypress. The creek itself is in a trench. You see it only twice, and it is difficult to get down to the stream.|
Notes from hike on Feb 13, 1998:
About two minutes in from the parking lot, I got lost at one of the first places you can see the creek. The trail makes a right diagonal into the woods instead of going strait as expected.
About a half hour in, you come to a .T. in the trail by a rotting log, the trail goes right! (Note that hiking towards the parking lot, watch for this turn since it is easly missed. If you continue on strait you will come to a dead end a feel LOST . go back if this happends and you will probably find the trail)
About 40 mins in, you come to an area were there is one blaze across a runnoff reviene. DO NOT CROSS RUNNOFF REVIEN, continue off to the right and you will see a blaze shortly. This spot always costs me a few minutes to figure out.
Trail comes out on road . cross bridge. Trail re-enters woods on the same side of the road.
|Hwy 29 Bridge over Beaverdam Creek to Spur Trail from Andrews Chapel on New York Rd (Rt- 382) (0.4 mile): The trail leaves the Wilderness to cross Beaverdam Creek on the highway bridge and reenters it on the other side. Several cars can park off the highway on the southwest side of the bridge. The trail leads through hilly pine woods, joining the unmarked access trail from Andrews Chapel.|
Notes from hike on Feb 13, 1998:
About 45 min to an hour in there is a campsite with access to water (although it is Beaver Creek . not a spring). Very nice campsite!
Never saw access trail from Andrews Chapel!?!
Spur trail from Andrews Chapel on New York Rd. to FS 382B (7.7 miles): If you don't feel secure leaving your car along Hwy 29, you can park near the wooden sign reading "Black Creek Wilderness" at the east side of Andrews Chapel. An unmarked but well-worn trail begins near the sign and leads to the Black Creek Trail, which has white paint blazes.
The Black Creek Trail descends from the pine-covered hills and follows the east side of Beaverdam Creek. This is a beautiful stream, the largest you en-counter on the trail apart from Black Creek itself. It's generally in a deep, nar-row trench overhung by large trees. You will see much more of the stream on this side than you will on the west side, and you can get down to the creek easily in some spots.
Eventually you reach Black Creek. There's an excellent campsite on a high sandbar overlooking the confluence of Black and Beaverdam creeks. The route continues along the creek through mature forests in very deep shade to Mills Creek. Here you will find another excellent campsite in mature pines about 500' off the trail on the west side of the confluence with Black Creek. After crossing this rather large stream, the trail turns south and follows an old road to a gas pipe corridor at the eastern edge of the wilderness area.
This is the wildest part of the trail and also the most scenic.
|FS 382B to FS 318B-1 (4.3 miles): The trail descends to Black Creek, where you'll find a good campsite or lunch spot with an obvious trail leading to a sandbar favored by canoeists. Then the trail turns back and climbs into the rugged Red Hills. The route goes up and down ridgelines and crosses ravines on picturesque bridges over flowing streams. Interestingly, the hills don't seem particularly red except on recently scraped roads.|
|FS 3188-1 to Fairley Bridge Landing (2.S miles): The route gradually leaves the Red Hills (each little ravine is less well pronounced) and then crosses a flat area with longleaf pine and very dense understory. The section between FS 3 1 8 and the end of the trail is pretty, with lots of rhododendron and a tree with a huge burl. There is no water along this section except where FS 374 crosses Bug Branch.|