The Bear Lake Campground is located within the Bear Lake Recreation Area, in the Blackwater River State Forest (Santa Rosa County), about 1-hour northeast of Pensacola, FL. This campground is located next to Bear Lake (107 acres) and has the following facilities: campsites with electric and water (potable), campsites with water (potable) only, dump station, a group dining hall with kitchen available by reservation only and restrooms with showers, boat ramp (electric motors only) and fishing pier. Recreational activities featured here are: fishing, hiking, mountain biking (6-mile trail), canoeing, picnicking, bird watching, wildlife viewing and photography.Blackwater River State Forest is the largest state forest in Florida, with over 210,000 acres of woodlands, lakes, and streams that has outstanding forest and water resources. It is named for the Blackwater River, which begins in neighboring Conecuh County, Alabama, and meanders southwestward through the forest. With the adjacent federal landholdings of Conecuh National Forest, to the north, and Eglin Air Force Base, to the south, this area is the largest contiguous ecological community of the longleaf pine - wiregrass ecosystem in the world. For further information about Blackwater River State Forest, please Click Here.Blackwater River State Forest has campgrounds, day-use areas and recreational trails that offer a variety of activities such as swimming, hiking, camping, canoeing, nature study, birding, fishing, hunting, horseback riding and mountain biking. This forest is part of the Florida National Scenic Trail and Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. Get outdoors and explore the recreational opportunities at Blackwater River State Forest; for further information please Click Here.Bear Lake has electric and non-electric sites available for recreational vehicles or tents. Bathrooms with showers are available. There is a boat ramp, fishing pier, hiking trail, and dining hall with pavilion. The dining hall pavilion use is by reservation only.Blackwater Canoe Rental, Bob's Canoes, Adventures Unlimited, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Air Force Armament Museum, Okaloosa Island Pier, National Naval Aviation Museum, Navarre Beach, Pensacola Beach, Gulf of Mexico
Activities and Amenities: BathhouseBird WatchingBoat RampBoating, CanoeingCampground HostCamping, Improved SiteCanoe RentalDock, FishingDump StationFire RingsFish Cleaning StationFishingFishing, PierHikingHiking TrailKioskMountain/Trail BicyclingNature StudyPhotographyPicnic AreaPicnickingRestroomsRiverRiver/StreamTrails, Hiking/Walking, EasyTrails, Moderate HikingTrails, Mountain BikeWater Access, Park LakeWater DrinkingWildflower ViewingWildlife Viewing
This place is great for a weekend getaway, it has new bathrooms with showers on location.
It has nice and easy hiking trails, one of the trails connects to Krul Lake which has a nice lake that you can swim in during the summer.
There is also a 6 mi loop for MTB, very easy route, good for the family and MTB beginners.
For tent camping it is great as well, you may camp near the lake away from the campground but you are from a walking distance of the bathrooms and hiking trails, there are two primitive sites on the north east side of the lake you can hike to it from the campground and it’s about a mile hike. You can drive to it but you have find the dirt road to it.
For RV/Camper, it was good, the pull through sites are better if you have a longer camper, the back in spots are a bit challenging to maneuver around especially if it is a busy weekend at the campground. They do have one dumping station on site.
You can fish on the lake too!
Overall the site is great for the family and friends.
It is a beautiful place. The campground is very quiet, the bathrooms very clean. Two reasons for loss of a star is 1: difficulty maneuvering. Most of the sites are good size but there is no easy way to get in some of them especially when it is packed as it was this holiday weekend. It was made more difficult when they added the wooden posts with site numbers in less than ideal places. 2: lack of direction to the sites. We arrived after dark and followed the numbers around only to find ourselves stuck in the tent section pulling an RV. Our site was back almost at the entrance. Neither of these things will stop us from returning. We enjoyed the trails and kayaking on the lake. Very peaceful.
Bear Lake was quiet, very well kept, bathrooms were very clean they offered a whole room to yourself (sink, toilet, shower all-in one room) . They informed you of gators in lake, they had fishing available for campers and a 2mile hike or 1mile car ride to krul lake for swimming. They offered pull through sites for big rigs which i loved it made things easier. Hosts were very kind. It had a pavilion for events. It was 22.00$ a night w/electric/water. We stayed for nights cost 130.00, they add about 20$ more for all sorts of taxes. We will go back, very nice place. Pets are allowed. My dogs loved it!
Bear Lake was very relaxing, quiet, it offered fishing in the lake, swimming in krul lake a 2mile hike or one mile by car to swim in. it was also informative on alligators being present around the lake. The bathrooms were very clean and offered a whole room to yourself-(like sink, toilet, shower all in one room and spacious). The hosts were friendly and courteous. Will go back, rates are 22$ a night but they add on all kinds of taxes, it ended up being 20.00 more for whole stay. Four nights was 130.00 dollars. I also like the fact of pull through sites which makes it easier for our 32ft trailer.
Any campground that runs a leaf blower at 8 am gets an automatic one star. How ignorant. Do we have to blow the leaves off the road in the campground? The host says "it must be clean." Maybe they should do something about the ants. This place is infested with them. I won't be back.
Bear Lake Campground is a little piece of paradise! Nestled within the Blackwater River State Forest, you are surrounded by beautiful nature. The lake is so gorgeous, I kept saying to my husband that I felt like I was in a jigsaw puzzle picture.
I visited in late January, and was unfortunately hit with a rogue cold snap much colder than usual Florida temperatures. We did unfortunately cut the camping short, but really enjoyed the little bit of time we had there. The campground is pretty small, and the RVs are on one side and the tent sites are on another, which I really like as a tent-er. Given the season, we were the only ones on the tent side, so we were right up on the lake and I can't remember ever staying in a more beautiful site anywhere. Sites have a picnic table and a fire pit with a grate. Bare ground here, no rocky tent pads. We were at the furthest site from the (very clean) bath/shower house, but it wasn't far at all.
You are about a half hour to the nearest town, so get your essentials beforehand. There is a small country shop closer, but options are limited.
Great fishing and canoeing available. Highly recommended!
Bear Lake Campground within Bear Lake Recreation Area - Blackwater River State Forest is off the beaten path, high in the Florida Panhandle. Blackwater River State Forest has 210,000 acres of woods, lakes and streams, and further south is the 630 acre Blackwater River State Park. So there is much to choose from…but reserve early…its busy even in the spring and summer.
Bear Lake Campground is a smallish, but nice and clean campground. The tent only loop is beyond the RV/Camper/tent electric sites (32 sites), past the showerhouse/restrooms and beyond the Bear Lake fishing dock and boat ramp to the right. Eight tent only sites are $15 nightly, each site has a water spigot. Tall white pines dot the tent only site area and all sites are visible to each other but are fairly spaced apart. All have a view of 103 acre Bear Lake.
This is mostly a very quiet and tranquil campground, when fighter jets and helicopters from Eglin AFB are buzzing overhead. The Elite Army Ranger School Jungle Phase is conducted 30 or so miles south.
A pine forest surrounds the meandering Bear Lake, which is loaded with bass…drawing electric motor clad aluminum skiffs each day. The 4 mile Sweetwater trail travels around portions of the lake. Frogs bring their delightful chorus most the day and night…the Pig frog's song my favorite. No swimming permitted in the lake…as it is with most Florida lakes…gators. Early morning and late evening paddles would be peaceful, as the tall, long-leaf pines that surround the lake, shelter it from most of the wind.
Bears are prevalent so keep food stored up and out of your tent area. There is no cell service…and no pay phones present. Unplugged and loving it!
Showerhouse with modern restrooms are acceptable but nothing to write home about. There is a picnic shelter and also a pavilion (which remains locked unless rented). An onsite host cares for registration.
With several campgrounds and recreation areas nearby, hiking, mountainbiking, paddling and fishing are the draw and very popular.