Blackwater River State Forest, 11650 Munson Hwy, Milton
The Blackwater River State Forest is in the U.S. state of Florida. The 189,848 acre forest is located in the panhandle, northeast of Pensacola.Blackwater River State Forest is one of the largest state forests in Florida, and is named for the Blackwater River, which begins to the north in Alabama Show more...
and meanders approximately 30 miles southwestward through the forest into Blackwater Bay, near Milton, Florida. Blackwater River is one of the few shifting sand bottom streams which remains in its natural state for nearly its entire length. The topography of the forest is gently rolling and contains various natural communities.Blackwater River State Forest is known for its longleaf pine/wiregrass ecosystem, which, in combination with the Conecuh National Forest to the north and Eglin Air Force Base to the south, is the largest contiguous ecological community of this type in the world.
This system once covered over 60 million acres in the southeastern United States coastal plain area. Less than 3 million of the original acreage now remains. Longleaf pine communities are rich in plant and animal life, including many classified as endangered, threatened or species of special concern. The forest lies on the southern tip of sandy, red clay soil deposited over west Florida. Erosion shaped the land's surface into low rolling hills separated by meandering water courses and broad flood plains. Elevations within the forest range from 10 feet to 290 feet above sea level. The changes in soil composition and the varying degree of moisture present in the forest support at least five principal types of plant communities: longleaf pine-scrub oak, slash pine, swamp hardwood, loblolly pine hardwood, and Atlantic white cedar.