Black Creek Wilderness Trail

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Larry Tucei
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Black Creek Wilderness Trail

Post by Larry Tucei » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:51 pm

NTS, Black Creek Wilderness is a 5,050 acre area in De Soto National Forest about 40 miles north of Coastal Ms. Black Creek Hiking Trail runs through the middle of the area and mostly follows along the Creek. The Forest here had much damage from Hurricane Katrina 8 years ago but it’s recovering nicely. I’ve been in this region several times before the storm in late 1990’s and early 2000. The Black Creek Hiking trail is 41 miles long from Big Creek Landing to Fairly Bridge. I only walked in east about ¾ of a mile where the trail meets Hwy 29. So I just covered a very small portion of this immense Forest mostly made up of Conifers- Long Leaf, Loblolly and Spruce Pine. Hardwoods are also everywhere but mostly near the creeks consisting of White Oak, Southern Red Oak, Cherry Bark Oak, Darlington Oak, Water Oak, Swamp Chestnut Oak and Beech. Southern Magnolia was everywhere as well as Holly. The understory contained Dogwood, Hornbeam, Loblolly Bay, Sparkleberry and Anise.
Long Leaf Pine 1
Long Leaf Pine 1
Long Leaf Pine 2
Long Leaf Pine 2
Long Leaf Pine
Long Leaf Pine
The Long Leaf Pine are mostly in the 80-90’ class topping out to a 101’ specimen I measured a new coastal record for me with a 6’6” CBH.
Loblolly Pine 1
Loblolly Pine 1
Loblolly Pine 2
Loblolly Pine 2
Loblolly were in the 90-100’ class with the largest reaching 121.5’ and CBH of 8’2” another coastal record for me.
Beaver Dam Creek
Beaver Dam Creek
The trees became tall as I reached Beaver Dam Creek a small drainage that runs into the Black.
Forest along Black Creek 2
Forest along Black Creek 2
In and on the other side of Beaver Dam is where I started measuring most of the tall Pines and all of the Oak.
Forest along Black Creek 1
Forest along Black Creek 1
It was beautiful and untouched from the Hurricane looking like all of the Forest did here before the storm.
Darlington Oak
Darlington Oak
I measured several Oaks just south of Black Creek - Cherry Bark to 78’, record, Water Oak to 105’, 8’ CBH record, White Oak to 105’ record, Swamp Chestnut to 90’ record, Darlington Oak to 104’ 8’6” CBH record and a Spruce Pine to 102’ record.
Water Oak
Water Oak
All of these are Ms coastal height records and some circumference records as well.
White Oak with unusual Trunk split
White Oak with unusual Trunk split
Southern Magnolia, Loblolly Pine and Southern Red Oak
Southern Magnolia, Loblolly Pine and Southern Red Oak
It was a fantastic day in the Forest and I only spent about 3 hours on and around the trail.
Black Creek
Black Creek
I will return soon for more documentation of this wonderful area one of the jewels on the Ms Coast. http://www.wilderness.net/NWPS/wildView?WID=54 https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Black+Cr ... ic&dg=ntvb Larry
Last edited by Larry Tucei on Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

pierce
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Re: Black Creek Wilderness Trail

Post by pierce » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:57 pm

Larry,

Nice finds. Seems you are going were you need to go lately.

I am always fascinated by adaptive growth in trees. That white oak is neat.

Pierce

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Black Creek Wilderness Trail

Post by Larry Tucei » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:03 pm

Pierce- Thanks, Yeah this area is somewhere I've been meaning to post on for some time. It's so close and real treat to walk on the trail and only 43 today perfect for tree hunting. Larry

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Will Blozan
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Re: Black Creek Wilderness Trail

Post by Will Blozan » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:34 pm

Larry,

Cool mix of species- some of my favorites. I hope you zap some loblolly bay and sparkleberry sometime as we have little data on them. What species is the "anise"?

Will

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Black Creek Wilderness Trail

Post by Larry Tucei » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:31 pm

Will- I believe Illicium floridanum, I had this same type all over my land not far from this area. I remember the flowers are red and smell bad commonly called stink bush. Also in this area are Mountain Laurel and Swamp Azalea. Will do on the Loblolly Bay and Sparkleberry. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illicium_floridanum Larry

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Bart Bouricius
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Re: Black Creek Wilderness Trail

Post by Bart Bouricius » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:43 pm

Great post Larry, an area I am not that familiar with. I only visited Mississippi once in the 70's for a wedding in Biloxi.

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Will Blozan
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Re: Black Creek Wilderness Trail

Post by Will Blozan » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:55 pm

Larry,

Cool! Do the anise trees reach tree size? No listing in AF list.

Will

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Black Creek Wilderness Trail

Post by Larry Tucei » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:18 pm

Thanks Bart- Will- I don't recall seeing any over 6' on my property but I'll keep an eye out for them when I return. Larry

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DougBidlack
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Re: Black Creek Wilderness Trail

Post by DougBidlack » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:47 pm

Larry,

Lots of cool trees at this site. I especially love oaks and I'm wondering about that Darlington oak. Is it the tallest and/or biggest you've measured just for coastal MS or the whole state? I'd love to know more about that species. Isn't this one that you have on your property or am I just not remembering right?

Doug

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PAwildernessadvocate
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Re: Black Creek Wilderness Trail

Post by PAwildernessadvocate » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:53 am

Cool photos and info, thanks!

Here is some more info about the Black Creek Wilderness Area if anyone is interested:

http://www.wilderness.net/NWPS/wildView?WID=54
"There is no better way to save biodiversity than by preserving habitat, and no better habitat, species for species, than wilderness." --Edward O. Wilson

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