Relax with a trip down Mississippi’s Black Creek

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Cool water, white sandbars and a relaxing ride down the Black Creek await anyone willing to venture off Mississippi’s major highways and into the woods this weekend.

The Black Creek Wilderness is the state’s largest wilderness area at 5,052 acres. The creek runs for 21 miles and several outfitters rent canoes along the way.

The oldest Black Creek outfitter in Brooklyn, Black Creek Canoe Rental, has been there for 25 years.

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Terry Gibbs, former owner of the outfitting company and current employee, said a trip down the river is a perfect getaway.

&uot;It is good wholesome family entertainment,&uot; he said. &uot;It is a nice relaxing creek, not an intense creek. You can stop and eat along the way and the surrounding area is woods.&uot;

Black Creek Canoe Rental is open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 9:30 to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

Canoes and kayaks are available for rent from $20 to $50 depending on length of trip.

Trips can range in length from 30 minutes to 14 hours. The more common trips are about five miles and take three hours.

Visitors are encouraged to stop their canoe along the way for a snack on a sandbar or a quick swim. The new mini-trip that only takes 30 minutes to complete is ideal for those who want to spend more time on land than in the boat.

Gibbs said the creek sees a lot of families and is most busy on the weekends in the summer. On weekdays the creek may only have between five and 10 canoes on it, he said.

Black Creek Canoe Rental only rents canoes when the level of the water is right. Their Web site,, provides information on the current water level. If the level is above eight and a half feet, canoes aren’t allowed out.

&uot;We don’t want to put anyone in harms way,&uot; Gibbs said.

Black Creek Canoe Rental is about 23 miles south of Hattiesburg.