In search of Black Creek, MS info

Sometime ago someone on this board had recommended Black Creek as a good camp / paddle river. I’m looking at paddling that early next year. Thinking of 86 miles from Brooklyn to the Pascagoula River.

If you know, how was the camping along that route? Any hardships like high muddy banks, no high dry ground, etc that make camping a nightmare?

While I’m experienced, is there anything in particular I might need to know about this stretch of river?

Thanks any help would be appreciated.

Check with these guys
I’ve only done a short overnight section, but I used these guys to help me out. That was many years ago though.

Why not…
…start here:

My backyard
Start here

Check out Big Creek landing, Moody’s landing’ Janice landing’ Cypress Creek landing, and Fairley Bridge landing. The Forest service has campgrounds there with facilities ranging from a single spigot and an outhouse to Hot showers and flush toilets through the Desoto National Forest. I’ve been to most of them and never seen more than one person at a time camping. They are all pretty empty. Pay about $3 at an honor box.

They’re are also plenty of sandbars available.

After Fairley bridge no more campgrounds. My son and I did hwy26 to hwy 57 this summer. Loy’s of sandbars as long as we aren’t having a “weather event”

After 57 it get’s a little more swampier. Sand bars become scarce. There is a boat launch you can camp at right after it joins red creek and by then you are in the Wildlife Management Area. You need a pass to step ashore in the WMA. Buy it anywhere that sells fishing liscenses. $250 fine without it and you will be in the Ward Bayou WMA/ Pascagoula WMA the rest of the trip. . 5 miles after the launch after the junction, the creek flows into the Pascagoula and there is a huge sandbar on the opposite shore and you are going to want to spend a night there. It’s in the WMA. Lot’s of wildlife, it’s a beautiful isolated spot, asides from passing fisherman, and it’s one of the last few good sandbars heading downstream. From there it’s about 35 miles to hwy 90 and the only sandbar I know for sure is where the river forks into two branches about halfway downstream. There are some boat launches along that stretch.

Shepard state Park is on the west fork right at hwy 90, a good place to finish.

WMA info

A good reference “Canoeing Mississippi” by Ernest Herndon.

The Pascagoula is also known as the Singing River and is the largest undamned river system in the lower 48

We have bears so plan accordingly.

Oh my!
Thank you so much. A wealth of info and quite helpful in planning.

If I may, one more question. Recognizing that the river Is always in flux, is it traversed enough that trees are cleared with some regularity? I wouldn’t want to face numerous carry arounds with a loaded canoe.

use Shepard’s traveling
cross country: AAA

Yes and no
The upper part, past all the landings, the NFS and he Outfitter up there will keep it clear. From 26 to 57 my son and I hit one tree we had to portage around, big flat sandbar on one bank and literally carried everything 10 feet on flat ground and loaded back up. Two other trees we lined over and a couple of spots we waded along next to the canoe for 20 yards or so but the gauge that weekend was just barely over 3 ft

Which is extremely low.

Once you hit the junction with Red Creek you will not have to worry about trees or shallows at all. DMR keeps it clear and the Pascagoula is a big river.

As a standby plan, should waters levels be extremely low and Black Creek not doable you can put in on the Chickasawhay which Joins the Leaf to create the Pascagoula. From Leaksville to the coast right at 100 miles. I did an overnite from Leaksville to the junction and in 2 days on the water we never saw another person.

The downside is the Pascagoula is a bigger river, Jon boats and lots of fish camps above the junction with Black Creek. Still lot’s of sandbars and woods. Just throwing it out there as an option in case we are in a drought the week you’re on vacation.

A word on cell phones
I use C-spire, formerly called Cellular South and get a signal along this whole route. Verizon will be Intermittent, t-mobile won’t work until the last day. Not sure about the rest.

Did an overnight last weekend
Janice Landing in Brooklyn to hwy 26. Spent the night on a big sandbar just below Fairley Creek Landing.

We used red wolf wilderness adventures for a shuttle. They are located half a mile from put in. We met a guy at their location and he followed us down to 26 and drove 5 people back to the launch for $30.

Two days on the water, Other than the campers at the landings, Saw one guy who talked to us from the bank the first day and passed one Jon boat headed upstream the second day. All the NFS landings have restrooms with running water btw.

Water was over 4 ft and still had plenty of sandbars but a couple days earlier it had been too high to safely run.

For the update and mentioning Red Wolf, I hadn’t heard of them and it is nice to have another resource for shuttles.

You mentioned river levels. Researching good paddling levels for Black Creek I seem to have learned that between 3 and 9 feet at the Brooklyn gauge is what you would want to have. Do you have any insight on the validity of this info?