“I grew up in Brooklyn, Mississippi. I began my career at Black Creek Canoe Rental as an employee driving canoers and hikers along Black Creek when I was in high school. I continued to help them with this small family-owned business through college and afterwards. Upon their retirement age, the previous owners decided to sell the business. My wife, Susie, and I purchased the business in 2003. I have canoed, kayaked, camped, and hiked along Black Creek my whole life.”
What is the Black Creek Trail, and where is it located?
“The Black Creek Trail is a 42-mile hiking trail through the DeSoto National Forest in south Mississippi. It is the longest foot traffic trail in this area. Much of the hike is adjacent to the Black Creek, Mississippi’s only National Wild & Scenic River.
Why would you recommend hiking the Black Creek Trail?
“The Black Creek Trail gives numerous opportunities for hikers. The hiker can choose a short day hike for 3-5 miles, or the complete thru-hike of 42 miles. There are plenty of places to camp near the trail or the Black Creek access.”
Who would you encourage to hike or backpack the Black Creek Trail?
“Anyone looking to get outdoors is encouraged to hike the trail. Since it offers various trips in lengths, it can be enjoyed for a family picnic (20-minute hike) or for someone doing some training for a larger trail such as the Appalachian Trail.”
What section, in your opinion, offers the best experience?
“The best section, in my opinion, for a short hike is near Big Creek Landing. You can be on the banks of Black Creek within 5 minutes from the start. For a longer and more challenging section, I prefer the section from Melvin Breland Road to Fairley Bridge Landing, offering more hills.”
When compared to other trails, what is special about the BCT?
“The main draw for the Black Creek Trail is the Black Creek itself. The views the trail provides are many. One of the other draws to the Black Creek Trail are the towering pine trees. The pine forests, some of which have been cut-over for timber sales, of varying size peaks the interest.”
What things, if anything, should hikers should take into account when hiking the Black Creek Trail?
“The South Mississippi heat is the main concern for hikers along the trail. We often get calls from hikers that attempted a summer hike and could not complete their chosen section due to the extreme heat. Other concerns are localized flooding along the trail. Some of the trail can flood easily due to the proximity to the Black Creek.”
What time of year is best to hike the Black Creek Trail?
“Most people prefer to hike the trail in the winter or spring. This is mainly due to the summer and fall heat.”
What services do you provide hikers and backpackers?
“We provide shuttles, advice, and recommendations for hikers. We can shuttle one person or a group from one point along the trail to another.”
Do you have any additional thoughts on the Black Creek Trail for hikers and backpackers?
“From a business standpoint, I would just like to mention that we recommend at least a week’s notice for trail shuttles during the winter month. We are a seasonal business and only open by reservation during the winter season. We often do our own trips this time of year. causing us to be away from the phone for multiple days at a time.”