Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Paddle of the Month: Black Creek (MS)

Where is it? In the De Soto National Forest, south of Hattiesburg, MS about 110 miles northeast of New Orleans, LA. What is it? A docile and scenic winding stream flowing the color of Mississippi sweet tea. There are only a few blow-downs stumps and strainers making this a great trip for beginners and families. How many miles is the trip? The longest float trip in the national forest is 33 miles:Big Creek Landing to Fairley Bridge Landing. Four other access sites--Brooklyn, Moodys Landing, Janice Landing and CypressLanding permit trips of almost any desired length. A popular overnight trip is the 16-mile stretch from Brooklyn to Janice Landing. Twenty-one miles between Moodys Landing and Fairley Bridge Landing has been designated a Wild and Scenic River and between Janice and Cypress Landing the creek passes through the 5050 acre Black Creek Wilderness Area. Services. Black Creek Canoe Rental, on the creek in Brooklyn, MS, is a large and friendly livery that rents canoes and kayaks and runs shuttles. A tandem canoe (two people) rents for about $35 for a day and about $55 for a weekend, shuttle included. Planning the trip. Check the USGS gage at the link on the Black Creek Canoe Rental site. A reading of between five feet and five and a half feet is about perfect. Below three and a half feet and canoes may have to be dragged across gravel shallows. Creek can rise quickly when rain falls on the watershed upstream. KNOW THE WEATHER!!! Alcohol. Alcohol is permitted on the creek and sandbars but not in the campgrounds or put-ins and take-outs. NO GLASS OF ANY KIND PERMITTED ON THE CREEK. COOLERS CAN BE SEARCHED AND THERE ARE STIFF FINES FOR VIOLATORS!!! Permits No permits are required to paddle the creek or hike nearby Black Creek trail. For more information contact Black Creek Canoe Rental at their website or the Black Creek Ranger District office in Wiggins, MS(601) 928-4423.