Route: Black Creek National Recreation Trail (MS)

Location
Mississippi, US
Description

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.

Comments

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.

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.