LOCATION: 7720 Deaton Bridge Road Holt, florida 32564 Reservations: 850-983-5363 LENGTH: 1 mile of trails within the park. TYPE: Loops RANKING: Easy to moderate ACCESS: 8 am - sundown USAGE: Moderate FEES: $4 Parking Fee or purchase an annual ParkPass MAPS: At entrance SURFACE: Compact soil with tree roots FEATURES: River, canoe rental & fishing, restrooms COMMENTS: Great family park with rv camping PET FRIENDLY: Yes, camping areas but not allowed on the beach.
Blackwater River State Park was established in 1967 and opened in 1968. There were 360 acres and in 1981 an additional 230 acres were acquired from the Division of Forestry.
The park and the adjoining Blackwater River State forest are known for their historic trams, sawmills and timber industry. The earliest roads in this area all led to mills.
All along the river are Atlantic white cedars and in 1982, one of the park's cedars was designated Florida Champion, the largest of its species. The park was also designated a Registered State Natural Feature in 1980. A variety of birds live here and white-tailed deer, bobcats and turkeys are common sites.
The Blackwater River has a sandy bottom and is one of the most pristine rivers in the nation. The river usually flows 2 - 3 miles per hour with an average depth of 2.5 feet and is designated a Florida Canoe Trail.
There are two hiking trails within the park, the Chain of Lakes Nature Trail and the Juniper Lake Nature Trail. We hiked both trails and enjoyed views of the river and the crescent-shaped lakes called oxbows that are created when the river changes course.
There's a longer trail just outside the park entrance in the Blackwater River State Forest. We hiked part of the 8 mile Juniper Creek Trail and enjoyed the wild life and views of the river.
We did not camp here but the park offers two campground loops with 30 campsites offering water and elec.
DIRECTIONS FROM I-10 EAST: Take exit 31 and turn left onto Hwy 87 Turn Right onto Hwy 90 Turn Left onto Deaton Bridge Road in Harold (3 miles from the park)
DIRECTIONS FROM I-10 WEST:
Take exit 45 and turn right Turn Left onto Hwy 90 in Holt Turn Right onto Deaton Bridge Park in Harold (3 miles from the park)