Blackwater Creek in Seminole State Forest is a 19-mile long riverine in Eustis, Florida. The launch point in Seminole State Forest makes for an easy way to access the river for canoeing, kayaking, and SUP.
If you live around the Orlando area, you’re likely familiar with the Wekiva River and Rock Springs Run for canoeing or kayaking. If you’re looking for a new place to explore with considerably less crowds, then you should check out Blackwater Creek in Seminole State Forest.
What Makes It Great
Blackwater Creek is a 19 mile long riverine in Eustis, Florida. A long section of Blackwater Creek goes through the center of Seminole State Forest and eventually meets up with the Wekiva River in the east. The route is heavily wooded on the sides, and narrow, but still easily passable. The canopy of trees along the banks helps to block some of the Florida sun and keep you cool.
In addition to heading east towards Wekiva River you can also go west towards the southwest corner of Seminole State Forest.
While paddling along Blackwater Creek you will have the opportunity to see plent of local wildlife. Animals such as otters, ibis, turtles and alligators are very common to the area. Do your best to stay quiet as you pass through to have the best chances of seeing something.
If you enjoy fishing make sure to bring along your gear. There are many varieties of fish in the waterways. The only restriction on fishing is the requirement of a valid Florida fishing license.
Make sure to check the forecast before heading out onto Blackwater Creek. The river level can rise based on rainfall. This is especially true during the rainy, summer months. Remember to bring water for your trip as there is not a water source near the canoe launch site.
Also, don’t forget to pack bug spray before head out onto Blackwater Creek. As with most bodies of water in central Florida you may run into swarms of insects which can quickly ruin your trip.
Who is Going to Love It
Blackwater Creek is a relatively easy paddle, so it is great for anyone who enjoys canoeing, kayaking, Stand Up Paddleboarding. Since the river can get narrow in places, it’s best for beginners to take their time as they navigate the turns. This is also a great place to visit if you’re looking for a quiet solo trip. Try to arrive at the canoe launch early so you will have the water to yourself.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
In order to access the main canoe launch in Seminole State Forest make sure to call ahead and receive your access pass. To get to the launch area you will head to Bear Pond Trailhead and open the gate. You will receive information for opening the gate when you call for your access pass. Once past the gate continue north on Sand Road. After traveling around 2.25 miles you will arrive at the launch area next to the Blackwater Creek Bridge. The access point will be on your left with a picnic table nearby. Try to get to the forest early, as there is limited parking next to the canoe launch.