Black Creek in Mississippi
We kayaked Black Creek from Moody's Landing to Janice Landing, about 10 river miles. While ideal paddling levels on the river start at about 5.5 feet, the creek was running about 4.9 the day we went. If the water had been higher, I would change the difficulty rating to "easy."
This stretch is located entirely within the DeSoto National Forest, and holds the designation of a national Wild and Scenic River. We did not see a single sign of civilization, including any other paddlers, despite this being a summer Saturday and the Black Creek being one of the most popular paddling destinations in the state.
The water is quite clear in most spots, allowing easy visibility of obstructions. Fallen trees were numerous, which kept us alert, but none were impassable. With higher water, many would have been submerged to the point we would have paddled right over them without a hitch. The current was perfect: not too strong, but swift enough that we did more steering than paddling most of the time.
This section of Black Creek has many twists and turns, and almost every one provides large, beautiful sand or gravel bars, perfect for taking a rest. Most of this stretch consists of hardwood forest, with a few swampier cypress areas. One particular straightaway is lined with gorgeous, shaded rock bluffs, with small springs feeding the creek.
Both Moody's and Janice Landing are national forest recreation areas. The put-in at Moody's is a large sandbar beach, while Janice has a concrete boat-ramp. Both areas have excellent parking, restrooms, and Janice has fresh water.
There are two outfitters on Black Creek:
Black Creek Canoe Rental at Brooklyn, MS, and Red Wolf Wilderness Adventures outside Wiggins, MS. Both offer canoes, kayaks and shuttle service.
$3 in the honor box to park at one of the National Park Recreation Areas.
Because they are located near the stretch of river we wanted to paddle, and to prevent taking two vehicles, we took advantage of the shuttle services ($18 per boat) offered by Red Wolf Wilderness Adventures. From Hwy 49 in Wiggins, take Hwy 26 east. Follow the signs to Flint Creek Water Park. Pass the park and continue into the national forest. Red Wolf is on the right.
"Canoeing Mississippi" by Ernest Herndon
- Trip Duration: Day Trip
- Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)