Blackwater River State Park and State Forest - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-10-2011, 04:24 PM   #1
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Blackwater River State Park and State Forest

Blackwater River State Park is located within the State Forest of the same name. The park is located along both sides of the Blackwater River, about ten miles from Florida exit 31 on Interstate 10. There's no need to backtrack very far if you're traveling through because there's easy access to the interstate from both directions. The park is heavily wooded with pines and Southern hardwoods, and to our way of thinking is very attractive. There are two very pleasant nature trails, one on each side of the river. The river is shallow, averaging less than three feet deep and has sugar-white sand bottom and banks. The Blackwater River is popular for canoeing and tubing and an outfitter is nearby, offering trips that end just downstream from the campground. There are swimming beaches within the park with one reserved just for campers. All of the beaches are beautiful white sand and offer safe, shallow water, but they do not have lifeguards. Like most of Florida, there are warning that alligators might be present. There are picnic pavilions along the river and some are available to groups for a very reasonable fee.

There are only thirty campsites, but they are full-facility, complete with sewer tap, water, and electric service - there is an overflow area with no facilities except a parking lot and use of a restroom. The camping sites are large, nicely spaced out, level, and paved with smooth gravel. The camping area is meticulously groomed, well shaded, and has a small playground. Many of the sites have enough surrounding vegetation for good privacy. The modern bathhouse was extremely clean and offered large shower stalls and hot water. The campground fills up on weekend so advanced reservations are necessary, but during the week there are usually many open sites. The cost for a site is $20/night, with half off for Florida seniors.
Attached Thumbnails
BRSP Campsite.jpg   BRSP Beach.JPG  

BRSP Boardwalk.jpg   BRSP Trail.JPG  

BRSP Pavilion.JPG   BRSP Scene.JPG  

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Old 11-10-2011, 04:32 PM   #2
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Blackwater River State Forest contains over 200,000 acres and is in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa Counties in northwest Florida. There are several campgrounds within the forest, and we have stayed at three of them: Krul Recreation Area, Bear Lake, and Hurricane Lake. None of them take reservations so it's first-come first-served, and on weekends some of them might fill up. The three campgrounds mentioned above all have sites with electricity and water, but no sewer hook-ups - dump stations are available at them all. Bear Lake and Hurricane Lake also have sites with just water. All the sites are usually just graded dirt, so sometimes they might be a bit uneven; but this is Florida after all, the flattest state in the Union, so they are usually fairly flat. The cost for a site with electricity and water is $20/night, sites with just water are $15/night; again, Florida seniors are half price. All of the above campgrounds have reasonably nice bathhouses. All three campgrounds are on lakes; Hurricane Lake is the largest and Krul Lake is the smallest. Fishing is allowed at Hurricane and Bear Lakes but not in Krul Lake. Krul Lake has a nice white-sand swimming beach with lifeguards sometimes on duty. Being Florida, most of the sites offer good shade. There is a very nice hiking trail of just over a mile that goes from Krul to Bear Lake, and another very nice trail of just under four miles, that circles Bear Lake. Many beautiful streams meander throughout the forest, the most notable of these are Blackwater River, Juniper Creek, Coldwater Creek, and Sweetwater Creek. We've canoed and/or tubed on all of these except the Sweetwater, and while they are all excellent, our favorite is the Coldwater Creek. There are several outfitters available for trips ranging from a few hours to overnight.

The pictures below are of the Bear Lake Campground:
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Bear Lake Campground.JPG   Bear Lake Campsite.jpg  

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Old 11-10-2011, 04:36 PM   #3
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These Pictures are from the Krul Lake Recreation Area:
Attached Thumbnails
Krul Campsite.jpg   Krul Swimming Area.JPG  

Krul Trail 1.jpg   Krul Trail 2.JPG  

Krul Grist Mill.jpg   Krul Lake Campground Side.JPG  

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Old 11-10-2011, 08:43 PM   #4
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Really beautiful and the sites look very nice also.
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:17 AM   #5
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Thanks for the report and pictures! More to add to my list!

Karen
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:05 PM   #6
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Oh wow, beautiful place. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:26 PM   #7
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I see that it's near Eglin AFB. Seems like I read once, a couple years back, that one can boondock for free on the land of that air base... was wondering if you know anything about that? And if the AFB land looks anything like these places just to the north, it could be pretty nice camping. These campgrounds you were in look very inviting.
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Old 11-13-2011, 06:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
I see that it's near Eglin AFB. Seems like I read once, a couple years back, that one can boondock for free on the land of that air base... was wondering if you know anything about that? And if the AFB land looks anything like these places just to the north, it could be pretty nice camping. These campgrounds you were in look very inviting.
I don't know about the boondocking, maybe you can find a number on line for their Public Relations Officer and give them a call.
From my limited experience in driving through the Eglin area, I think the land there is more of a scrub forest, not quite as scenic as the area in the Blackwater area. Although there may be some very nice areas there also; sorry I don't know more about it.
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Old 11-13-2011, 03:09 PM   #9
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ray--these look beautiful! i haven't heard of them before so thanks so much for sharing! and the photos certainly "sell" the campgrounds!! recommendations alone are terrific..but photos are supremely helpful.
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:28 PM   #10
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These campgrounds would make nice destinations. I guess while there I could poke around for a boondock site I liked farther south, and if none be found, I already would have a good spot to stay.
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Old 11-13-2011, 06:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
These campgrounds would make nice destinations. I guess while there I could poke around for a boondock site I liked farther south, and if none be found, I already would have a good spot to stay.
Conecuh National Forest borders Blackwater River State Forest on the north. Isn't it true that there's open camping anywhere in National Forests except where it's specifically forbidden? I've never been to Conecuh so I can't tell you anything about it.
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