Route: Black Creek National Recreation Trail (MS)

Mississippi, US
40.6 mi

A 40 mile moderately trafficked point to point National Recreation Trail. It runs along large creek (the black creek) and it’s terrain is considered easy to moderate with a little under 2,000 feet of elevation gain.


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Will be setting the FKT for this trail Thursday morning (December 19th) and using Strava for tracking. This is my first FKT so I have no real expectations. 

Interested to hear how this goes! I am planning on doubling it in a couple weeks if I get some favorable weather.

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Trail Conditions

Trail is supposedly maintained twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall. This trail has not been touched in quite a while(at least since spring). A couple massive oaks are down causing a jungle gym like experience of crawling through them. It is choked with briars at times and twice it just disappears into a briar thicket. It is blazed with a white diamonds though there are some confusing parts where I spent a good deal of time wandering around trying to get myself back on track (and I hiked it through immediately prior to the FKT). Just expect to get your feet wet and muddy unless you’re quicker on your feet than I am. Also be careful on the bridges, they are pretty much slippery year round. Also running along the river banks the footing can be sketchy, at around mile 34 a sandy section of river bank (about ten foot above the river) gave out under my right foot and my legs were to tired to adjust. I fell down to a mid bar and almost into the rive, spraining my ankle pretty badly causing me to walk the last 5 miles. 
That’s most of the bad, overall it’s a beautiful trail with several 3-5 mile sections with a big sweeping path cut through the trees. The hills are steep but short and they provide good slopes to run down to make up for lost time. 
i would recommend taking as little gear that you care about as possible. The briars shredded my outer layer (an OR helium II that has thousands of miles on it already and some cheap dance pants (great for warding off small thorns and briars) off of Amazon. A few of the creek crossing were really sketchy and technical but I was also doing it two days after a massive storm so I don’t think it is normally that bad.  
I have been in contact with the guys at Black Creek Canoe Rental, they were helpful with trail info, the best end to start, where the campground is at, and they offer shuttle services for 60$ (maybe negotiable) a trip. 
He actually offered to go out and blaze the sections where I got turned around next week so maybe it will be a little more clear on your go @quietglow.

The experience was difficult for me but I think I could put up a better time than I did so I may wait until they clear the trail and give it another go sometime early next year. To be determined. 

Great submission. I've been wanting to add this trail when I visit again. I've run the northern sections in out and backs  and even at night in a rainstorm but always wanted to FKT it. I live very near to the southern terminus. I plan to make my attempt Fall of 2020 when I return to MS.

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Going to be going for this on Saturday (April 6, 2024). Hopefully the trail has been cleared. Will be starting around 6-6:30 at Fairley and will get a shuttle from Black Creek Canoe. Thanks @NightWatch for the tip. Otherwise I was looking at leaving my bike and a tent at the end and biking back the next day (about 25 miles). 

As an update, for anyone thinking of doing this... 

I started at Fairly and was on the pace I wanted, despite losing the trail a couple of time. It really isn't maintained but was still navigable. That is, until approximately mile 22 (16ish miles from Big Creek), The trail disappeared past a camping spot, and was pretty sparse leading to that from a parking area. It was just a tangled web of downed trees, briars, and blackberry bushes. I know I was "on the trail" from the markers on the trees, the GPS, and even a bridge I managed to cross. However, there was no sign of a trail on the ground, no sign anyone had been through there recently (footprints, snapped branches, bark stripped off downed trees, etc...) and the growth was years old. 

I would like to try this again, but come in from the north and see how far I get. Maybe this is only a half-mile stretch that could be managed. Maybe, however, this is an issue for miles. I just don't know.

Here is a link to my strava if you want to see where things went sideways.