Blackwater River State Forest, Pensacola, FL - May11, 2008

Blackwater River State Forest, Pensacola, FL - May11, 2008

HI EVERYONE,

LARRY AND I HAVE RETURNED FROM OUR SECOND TRAIL RIDING TRIP. WE TRAVELED TO BLACKWATER RIVER STATE FOREST NEAR PENSACOLA, FL. COLDWATER RECREATION AREA IS PART OF THIS FOREST, AND THIS IS WHERE THE HORSE CAMPING FACILITY IS LOCATED.

HERE YOU HAVE STABLING FOR 72 HORSES AND 64 CAMPING SPACES WITH ELECTRIC AND WATER HOOKUPS AVAILABLE. THE CAMPGROUND IS CLEAN AND WELL-KEPT AND MANNED BY VOLUNTEERS TO HELP YOU GET SETTLED IN.

THERE ARE ABOUT 60 MILES OF WELL-MARKED TRAILS. SANDY RED CLAY TRAILS MEANDER THRU STANDS OF LONG LEAF PINES. ONE TRAIL LED US TO COLDWATER RIVER WITH ITS CLEAR SANDY BOTTOMS. IN THIS PART OF THE RIVER WERE SANDBARS WITH SAND AS WHITE AS SNOW. WE COULD RIDE THE HORSES FROM ONE SANDBAR TO ANOTHER. AT TIMES THE WATER WOULD BE ABOVE THEIR KNEES, BUT THIS DID NOT SEEM TO BOTHER THEM. SOME OF THE HORSES TRIED TO LAY DOWN IN THE WATER, AND IN FACT, ONE RIDER HAD AN UNWANTED BATH WHEN HIS HORSE LAY DOWN.

THE WEATHER WAS GREAT WITH TEMPS IN THE 60'S AND LOW 70'S WITH ONLY ONE DAY OF RAIN. THERE WAS ALWAYS A BREEZE, AND AT TIMES IT SEEMED THE LEAVES DANCING IN THE WIND WOULD GUIDE US DOWN THE TRAIL.

WE MET ABOUT 12 OTHER PEOPLE FROM KENTUCKY HERE AND SPENT THE WEEK RIDING AND TELLING HORSE TALES BY THE CAMPFIRE AT NIGHT.

WE LEFT BLACKWATER RIVER STATE FOREST AND TRAVELED NORTH TOWARD HOME. WE STOPPED TO VISIT SOME HORSE FRIENDS IN GA. FOR A FEW DAYS. THEIR FARM WAS CLOSE TO SEVERAL STATE PARKS WITH HORSEBACK RIDING TRAILS.

WE DECIDED TO GO TO WATSON MILL BRIDGE STATE PARK. AS YOU ENTER THE PARK, YOU DRIVE THROUGH A COVERED BRIDGE DATING BACK TO 1885. IT HAS BEEN RESTORED TO ITS ORIGINAL STATE.

THE PARK IS IDEAL FOR ALL OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES. THE EQUESTRIAN AREA HAS 2 BARNS WITH ABOUT 40 STALLS. CAMPSITES NEAR THE BARNS WERE AVAILABLE WITH WATER AND ELECTRIC HOOKUPS. A LARGE PARKING AREA FOR TRAILERS IS NEAR THE BARNS AND TRAIL HEAD. ABOUT 12 MILES OF WELL MARKED TRAILS ALLOW THE RIDER TO ENJOY THE THICK FOREST ALONG THE RIVER OR RIDE INTO THE PARK'S BACKCOUNTRY.

AFTER A FEW DAYS WITH OUR FRIENDS WE HEADED HOME.

WELL SO LONG UNTIL OUR NEXT TRIP. CONTACT US IF YOU NEED FURTHER INFO ON ANY OF THESE TRAILS.

LARRY AND BOBBIE

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