“A beautiful 7.1-mile trail along the St. Johns River and within the floodplain swamp.”
— Mark Brandenburg
Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife
The Black Bear Wilderness Area Trail is just over 7 miles round trip. The trail makes its way along an old berm that has been abandoned for over 40 years and circles the majority of the 1,600-acre Black Bear Wilderness Area. Huge oaks and red cedars, along with many other species, now cover the berm save for the trail down the middle. On either side of the berm trail is the floodplain swamp of the St. Johns River.
If you take the trail counter-clockwise, you'll reach the St. Johns River after about one mile. The trail then follows the river for several miles more before turning southwest and heading back into the floodplain swamp. A total of 14 boardwalks have been placed along the trail where the berm has been removed to open the floodplain back to the St. Johns River. The trail is dry for the majority of the year, however it is in the floodplain of the St. Johns River.
Flora & Fauna
You'll see a lot of wading birds, pygmy rattlesnakes, deer, and, as the name states, black bears are often seen as well.