Explore northwest Florida’s Big Juniper Creek in Blackwater State Forest

July 6, 2015

Cool water and scenic views along Big Juniper Creek. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors
Cool water and scenic views along Big Juniper Creek. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

A lazy day on the water suited for family fun

Northwest Florida has an abundance of great places to explore off the beaten path. Great trails, and beautiful waterways, we are fortunate to have many places to explore. Big Juniper Creek in the Blackwater State Forest is one great choice to beat the heat with a leisurely 6-mile paddling trip.

Big Juniper Creek, one of the many tributaries that feed into Blackwater River, offers a sandy bottom, and cool water, and easy places to pull off along the shoals and take a dip. You will see an abundance of hardwood and pine trees, juniper, titi and magnolia. In the spring and summer months you spot the yellow flowering St. John’s wort.

Fed by small seepage springs, and tiny creeks, the water temperature stays nice and cool. Even in on a hot summer day, it is a comfortable paddle. The creek is easy to navigate when the water levels are low, with little effort other than maneuvering around a few submerged logs and limbs.

Big Juniper Creek. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors
Big Juniper Creek. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Pack your lunch and plenty of water and enjoy a lazy day along this beautiful creek. Another northwest Florida gem.

There are no rental liveries at the put in or take out. However, Adventures Unlimited on Blackwater River offers rentals and shuttles. Call (850) 623-6197 for more information. To do your own shuttle, the put in is at Red Rock Road bridge, the take out 6.2 miles downstream at Indian Ford Road bridge.

Directions: Turn north off of I-I0 (exit 45) at the Holt exit. Turn right onto Hwy. 90, go to the first street and turn left and go over railroad tracks. Turn left on John Road, it turns into Bryant Bridge Road, then Red Rock Road after the stop sign. This is the put in location. To leave a shuttle vehicle at the take out, go back over the bridge and turn right at Pleasant Home Church Road. Approx. 5 miles turn left of Indian Ford Road and leave vehicle at Indian Ford Road bridge.

Click here for map with shuttle directions.

Click here for Blackwater River water level readings.

Got plenty of time to stay and explore? The Florida Trail runs along Big Juniper Creek. Learn more at http://floridahikes.com/junipercreek.

The Blackwater State Forest offers camping facilities and trails as well. Click here to learn more. And, of course, you can explore the Blackwater River too.

Want to join a paddle group in the area? The West Florida Canoe and Kayak Club and the Florida Panhandle Canoe & Kayak Connection offer a variety of paddles in the Northwest Florida Panhandle.

[slideshow_deploy id=’28354′]