BLACKWATER RIVER STATE PARK
A favorite destination for canoeists and kayakers, Blackwater River offers opportunities for a variety of outdoor recreation. The river is one of the purest sandbottom rivers in the nation, making this park a popular place for swimming, fishing, camping, and paddling. Shaded campsites are just a short walk from the river, and visitors can enjoy a picnic at a pavilion overlooking the river. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy strolling along trails through undisturbed natural communities. In 1980 the park was certified as a Registered State Natural Feature for possessing exceptional value in illustrating the natural history of Florida. Atlantic white cedars line the river and one of them was recognized in 1982 as a Florida Champion tree, one of the largest and oldest of its species. Located 15 miles northeast of Milton, off U.S. 90.
Blackwater River State Park was established in 1967. The park opened to the public on November 22, 1968 and consisted of 360 acres. On July 17, 1981, the park acquired 230 acres from the Division of Forestry. Today, the park contains 590 acres of upland pine forests, swamps, and scrubby ridges and is surrounded by the Blackwater River State Forest. Atlantic white cedars line the river and the 1982 Florida Champion, recognized as the largest of its species, is found within the park. The park was also certified as an official Registered State Natural Feature in 1980 for possessing exceptional value in illustrating the natural history of Florida.
Annual Entrance Passes can be purchased at all park ranger stations and museums. If you require immediate use of your pass, this is the best option. Passes can be purchased during regular business hours 365 days a year. Please call the park in advance to ensure availability. Those who are eligible for discounted or free passes may use this method to receive their pass. Annual Entrance Passes may be purchased online by visiting the FLORIDA STATE PARKS ANNUALENTRANCE PASSES
CampingFull Hookup Sitesyes
This 590-acre park offers 30 campsites with electric and water hookups as well as a dump station.
1. Blackwater River State Park offers a natural freshwater swimming area in the river.
2. The park's sandy bottomed river is perfect for cooling off during hot summer days.
3. Swimming areas are not lifeguard protected, so visitors swim at their own risk.
4. Water shoes are recommended due to occasional underwater debris and rocks on the river bed.
5. Visitors can also enjoy tubing down this slow moving, tannin-colored waterway as an alternative to traditional swimming activities.
The Blackwater River attracts paddlers from far and wide and has been designated a Florida canoe trail. The last two miles of the trail are located within the park. Bring your canoes or tubes to truly enjoy the beauty of the Blackwater River. Local vendors offer trips and rentals. The park does not offer any rentals or trips at this time.
Anglers can enjoy freshwater fishing for largemouth bass, catfish and bream. Canoeing or kayaking offers additional access to remote areas.
Blackwater River State Park is located near Crestview, Fort Walton Beach and Milton
Three covered pavilions with picnic tables and grills are located within walking distance of the river and restrooms. These pavilions may be reserved for a fee. Picnic shelters and uncovered picnic tables are also located near the beach areas.
The terrain, plant communities, and wildlife are highlighted along the park?s two nature trails. Guided walks and programs for park guests are offered seasonally. The Juniper Creek Trail, which is maintained by the Florida Trail Association, is accessible from the park.
Birdwatchers can enjoy spotting various species like the red-cockaded woodpecker, swallow-tailed kite and bald eagle. The park's diverse habitats attract a variety of birds year-round. Birding trails offer opportunities to see migratory songbirds in spring and fall seasons.
- Pets must be kept on a handheld leash that is six feet or shorter at all times.
- Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets and disposing of waste in designated receptacles.
- Pets are not allowed inside any buildings, including restrooms and cabins within the park.
- Dogs may not be left unattended anywhere within the state park boundaries.
- Pet owners should prevent excessive noise to avoid disturbing wildlife or other visitors' enjoyment of nature's soundscape.
- All pet vaccinations need to remain current during your visit as per Florida law requirements.
- Pets cannot participate in organized group activities such as guided tours due to potential disruption risks they pose.
Heading East on I?10 exit 31 (Hwy 87N), 1/2 mile, right turn on Hwy 90E, 7 miles to town of Harold, Left turn onto Deaton Bridge Road, 3 miles to main gate.
Heading West on I?10 exit 45 to town of Holt (blinking light). Left turn onto Hwy 90, Approximately 15 miles to the town of Harold, right turn on Deaton Bridge Road, 3 miles to main gate.