Hattiesburg, MS: Black Creek Trail

Prepare for an onslaught of steep climbs and descents on this scenic, but strenuous roller-coaster hike that traces trickling streams and Black Creek's slow-flowing waters.
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Prepare for an onslaught of steep climbs and descents on this scenic, but strenuous roller-coaster hike that traces trickling streams and Black Creek's slow-flowing waters.

From the trailhead, hike west on a wide, grass path that winds through longleaf pines and bottomland hardwoods. After 0.8 mile, cross a dirt Forest Service road and turn left for a brief road walk to Fairly Bridge Road. After connecting with the trail on the other side of the road, meander to the northwest through more longleaf pine forest.
Less than 2 miles in, the trail rolls through a series of short, sometimes steep, ascents and descents that pass through a mix of pines, oaks, beech, and other hardwoods. Less than half a mile later, a brief, but steep climb leads to a wooded hilltop. In winter when the trees are bare, views of tall pines and hardwoods stretch to the east. At mile 3, hike past moss-covered rhododendron in a lush stream drainage, then ascend a ridge with 360-degree views. Absorb the views, then prepare for the steep descent that follows.
The final 2 miles to the turnaround point trace Black Creek, a National Wild and Scenic River—look for intermittent views for the creek as the path rises above the west bank of this broad and gently flowing channel. Turn around at mile 6.4 when the route intersects FS 382 B, an asphalt road, and retrace your steps back to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Marcus Woolf

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 20.8

Waypoints

BCT001

Location: 30.917889, -88.966641

From the trailhead at the southwest end of the parking area (left of the restroom), hike west on a wide, grass path that winds through longleaf pines and bottomland hardwoods.

BCT002

Location: 30.9195991, -88.9771235

Cross the Forest Service road and turn left, heading south. Bug Branch flows beneath a bridge to the northwest.

BCT003

Location: 30.9191021, -88.9771235

Turn right @ T-junction onto FS 374 and walk north. In roughly 500 feet, cross the paved Fairly Bridge Road and reconnect with the trail on the other side.

BCT004

Location: 30.9205609, -88.9777565

After crossing the road, the trail immediately bends to the left, traveling through longleaf pines.

BCT005

Location: 30.9246751, -88.988421

Begin a series of short, sometimes steep, ascents and descents that roll through a mix of pines, oaks, beech, and other hardwoods.

BCT006

Location: 30.9273763, -88.9892739

Cross a fire break. Pick up the white-blazed trail on the other side of the break.

BCT007

Location: 30.9289547, -88.9914036

A brief, but steep climb brings you to the top of a hill. In winter when the trees are bare, you'll find views of tall pines and hardwoods to the east. Continue heading northwest; more rolling terrain ahead.

BCT008

Location: 30.9329948, -88.997916

At the end of this climb, you'll cross a gravel road, then connect with a wide, grassy path. Ahead: Prepare for the roller-coaster ride through a challenging series of steep climbs and drops.

BCT009

Location: 30.9369244, -88.9975512

Moss-covered rhododendron and ferns cover this lush stream drainage.

BCT010

Location: 30.937681, -88.997973

Take minute to absorb the 360-degree views from the top of the ridge (the forest stretches to the horizon in every direction). Next, tackle the steep descent that leads to one of many stream crossings on this hike.

BCT011

Location: 30.9476539, -88.991822

You'll catch intermittent views of Black Creek, a National Wild and Scenic River, as the path rises above the west bank of this broad and gently flowing channel.

BCT012

Location: 30.945878, -89.0116596

The path intersects FS 382 B, an asphalt road. Turn around and follow the same route back to the trailhead.