Blackwater River State Forest: Bear Lake

Bear Lake Rd., Milton, 32570
(850) 957-5700
Daily, sunrise to sunset


From the camping area, hike the 4-mile trail that rings the lake, watching for migrants like Ovenbirds and Swallow-tailed Kites. The cries and calls of Red-shouldered Hawks and Pileated Woodpeckers echo across the lake and Pied-billed Grebes dive, hunting for fish. At dawn and dusk listen for Barred Owl, Chuck-will’s-widow, Bachman’s Sparrows, Northern Bobwhite and Wild Turkey. You can see all 8 species of Florida’s woodpeckers at this site throughout the course of the year. Winter specialties such as Brown Creeper, Dark-eyed Junco and Pine Siskin have all been recorded in recent years. Take water and expect biting insects in warm weather. The lake is popular with anglers in spring and fall. There is no hunting on the trail or in the vicinity of the lake.

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