Recreation Areas at Blackwater River State Forest

Recreation Sites:  Bear Lake | Bone Creek | Camp Paquette | ColdwaterHurricane Lake | Karick Lake | Krul | Wildlife Management Areas

Blackwater River State Forest has outstanding forest and water resources that offer a variety of recreational opportunities such as hiking, swimming, camping, canoeing, fishing, hunting, nature study, mountain biking, and horseback riding. 

Bear Lake Recreation Area

Bear Lake is a 107-acre artificial impoundment located on Bear Creek. Maximum depth is 23 feet, with an average depth of 8 feet. The lake is characterized by flooded timber. The dam was constructed in 1959 and first opened to fishing in the spring of 1961.

Bear Lake has electric and non-electric campsites with several hiking trails nearby. The Sweetwater Trail, 1.3 miles in length, connects Bear Lake to Krul Recreation Area. The Bear Lake Loop Trail encircles the lake and is 4 miles long. The Bear Lake-Jackson Connector Trail connects Bear Lake Loop Trail to the Jackson Trail. It is 2 miles in length. A mountain bike trail also encircles the lake and is 6 miles in length. The campground has a group dining hall with kitchen by reservation only. All other sites are on a first come first served basis. No swimming is allowed. Alligators are present.

Features Facilities
  • Bear Lake (107 acres)
  • Fishing
  • Hiking trail
  • Mountain bike trail
  • Canoeing
  • Picnicking
  • Leashed Pets Allowed
  • Campsites with electricity and water (some sites have water only)
  • Restrooms and showers
  • Dining facility (reservations are required: Call 850/ 957-6140)
  • Boat ramps
  • Pier
Trails

Directions: Bear Lake Recreation Area is located approximately 2.5 miles east of Munson off of Highway 4.


Bone Creek Recreation Area

Bone Creek is a Day Use area which includes a man-made pond with swimming area, dock, and picnic tables.  Fishing is allowed in the lake except in the swimming area. Day Use Area hours are 7:00 am- 7:00 pm, April 1- September 15, and 7:00 am- sunset, September 16- March 31.

Features Facilities
  • Picnicking
  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Canoeing
  • No pets
  • Restrooms
  • Pier

Directions: Bone Creek Recreation Area is located above Holt, Florida. The entrance sign to Bone Creek is located on Highway 90.


Camp Paquette

Camp Paquette is a youth facility with 2 bathrooms and an outdoor pavilion. There are 4 primitive camping areas with designated fire pits and picnic tables. There is a swimming lake in the back of the facility with a pier. Fishing is allowed outside of the swimming area.

Features Facilities
  • Youth Groups Only
  • Five acre lake  
  • Hiking trail
  • Fishing
  • Canoeing
  • Swimming
  • No pets
  • Open air pavilion
  • Restrooms and showers
  • Pier
  • Reservations required: 
    Call 850/ 957-6140 

Directions: Camp Paquette is located off of Belandville Road, due north of Munson, Florida approximately 6 miles above Highway 4.


Coldwater Recreation Area

The Coldwater Recreation Area, bordered to the north by Coldwater Creek, offers trails that take horseback riders through some of the most scenic woodlands in Florida. Opened in 1974, the facility has been a prized recreation area for bird dog and fox hound field trial participants and horseback riders. The forest around the campground is prescribed burned frequently to promote habitat for quail, red-cockaded woodpeckers, gopher tortoises, and other native species. Because of frequent burning, beautiful vistas are located throughout the area.

Features Facilities
  • Equestrian Trails+
  • Canoeing
  • Swimming
  • Picnicking
  • Leashed Pets Allowed
  • Horse stalls++
  • Campsites with electricity and water ++
  • Restrooms and showers
  • Dining facility++
Trails

+ All horses must have proof of current negative Coggins test results when on state lands. ALL children under the age of 16 are required to wear a protective helmet while riding on state lands.
++ Reservations are required for the stables, dining facility and all campsites in this recreation area. For reservations call 850\ 957-6161 weekdays between 7:00 am and 3:30 pm Central Time. 


Hurricane Lake Recreation Areas

Hurricane Lake is a 318 acre man-made lake located on Hurricane Creek. The lake has a maximum depth of 25 feet, with an average depth of 7 feet. Hurricane Lake was constructed in 1971 and opened for fishing in 1973. It has two improved recreation areas located on the north and south sides of the lake. North Hurricane campground has a primitive youth camping area by reservation only. All other sites are on a first come first served basis. No swimming is allowed. Alligators are present.

North Hurricane Lake Recreation Area:
Features Facilities
  • Hurricane Lake (318 acres)
  • Fishing
  • Hiking trail
  • Leashed Pets Allowed
  • Campsites with electricity and water (some sites have water only)
  • Restrooms and showers
  • Boat ramp
  • North Hurricane Lake Youth Area is a primitive camping area with restrooms nearby. Reservations are required for the Youth Area: Call 850/ 957-6140
Trails
South Hurricane Lake Recreation Area:
Features Facilities
  • Hurricane Lake (318 acres)
  • Fishing
  • Picnicking
  • Leashed Pets Allowed
  • Primitive campsites
  • Restrooms
  • Limited number of water faucets
  • Boat ramp
Trails

The Blackwater River Paddling Trail [Adobe PDF Document] (DEP) begins at Kennedy Bridge. Directions: These recreation areas may be reached from Hurricane Lake Road off of Highway 4. They are located approximately 7 miles north of Highway 4 in north Okaloosa County. There is access to the south side primitive campground from Kennedy Bridge Road and access to the north side campground via Beaver Creek Highway.


Karick Lake Recreation Areas

Karick Lake Recreation is a 65-acre artificial impoundment on Deadfall Creek in northern Okaloosa County. It has a maximum depth of 18 feet at the dam and an average depth of 7 feet. A considerable amount of flooded timber provides fish habitat. The lake was constructed in 1965 and open to fishing in 1966.

Karick Lake has two improved camping areas; one on the north side and one on the south side of the lake. The east end of Jackson Trail starts at North Karick Lake. Camping at Karick Lake is first come first served except for the primitive youth camping area on the north side. The campgrounds are located east of county road 189 approximately 7.5 miles north of Baker. No swimming is allowed.

North Karick Lake Recreation Area:
Features Facilities
  • Karick Lake (65 acres)
  • Hiking trail
  • Picnicking
  • Canoeing
  • Leashed Pets Allowed
  • Fishing
  • Campsites with electricity and water
  • Restrooms and showers
  • Boat ramp
  • Pier
  • North Karick Lake Youth Area is a primitive camping area with restrooms nearby. Reservations are required for the Youth Area: Call 850/ 957-6140
Trails
South Karick Lake Recreation Area:
Features Facilities
  • Karick Lake (65 acres)
  • Fishing
  • Picnicking
  • Canoeing
  • Leashed Pets Allowed
  • Campsites with electricity and water
  • Restrooms and showers
  • Boat ramp

Krul Recreation Area

Krul Recreation Area is a camping and Day Use area built next to a 6.5-acre man-made lake. It is recharged from springs located on the north ends of the lake. It is a popular swimming area. The Sweetwater Trail starts at the Krul parking lot and runs 1.3 miles to Bear Lake. The first half mile of trail is in handicapped accessible boardwalk with a suspension bridge over Sweetwater Creek. A gristmill is located along the boardwalk.

Day Use Area Hours at Krul
  • - April 1- September 15: 7 am- 7:00 pm
  • - September 16- March 31: 7:00 am- sunset
Features Facilities
  • 6.5 acre lake
  • Swimming
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking trail
  • No pets
  • Swimming dock
  • Campsites with electricity and water
  • Restrooms and showers
  • Pier
Trails

Directions: Krul is located ½ mile east of Munson north of Highway 4.


Wildlife Management Areas (WMA)

For hunting purposes, Blackwater River State Forest is broken down into three wildlife management areas. The Blackwater WMA, the Blackwater Carr Unit, and Blackwater Hutton Unit are managed together with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Wildlife viewers, cyclists, horseback riders, paddlers and other nature lovers can find wild places to pursue their interests in addition to hunting and fishing.

Both hunting and non-hunting recreationists are encouraged to check FWC's Wildlife Management Area web pages for Blackwater River State Forest:

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Contact Us

Florida Forest Service
Blackwater River State Forest
11650 Munson Hwy
Milton, Florida 32570

(850) 957-6140  
(850) 957-6143 Fax

Email Blackwater River State Forest