FEATURED AIRSTRIP IS FLORIDA’S BLACKWATER
Each month we will be highlighting an airstrip that the RAF has had an impact on. We hope that you will get out and enjoy these airstrips. This month’s Featured Airstrip is Blackwater Airstrip in Florida.
Blackwater Airfield 8FD3 is a Florida Forest Service(FFS) airfield to which the FFS is willing to permit public access on a ‘request’ basis, should its condition be judged safe and not otherwise in use. The Blackwater staff and the RAF have developed a cooperative relationship to make this access possible and to further improve the airstrip. The RAF is partnering with Blackwater River State Forest, both in helping to maintain the airstrip through occasional work parties and by helping to fund airstrip improvements as they are approved by the FFS.
A variety of campground amenities and recreational opportunities are readily accessible nearby. There are plumbed restrooms with showers in Krul Recreation Area’s Campgrounds #1 and #2, which are adjacent to the field. There are both individual and group camping sites adjacent to the airstrip, which makes it possible for those arriving by aircraft to join those arriving by vehicle. The Krul Recreation Area is a camping and ‘Day Use’ area next to the lake. It is an attractive and popular swimming area. The Sweetwater Trail starts at the Krul parking lot and runs 1.3 miles to Bear Lake.
For more information on Blackwater, visit the Airfield Guide.
Good morning. I fly to this air strip several times a year and camp with my family. The last two times this year that I’ve flown there the grass was really tall. Do you know how often they cut the grass? Or do you know who I can contact locally to ask about this?
We love this airstrip. My kids really enjoy swimming in the lake and camping near the plane.
Thanks so much!
Hi Brandon —
This is the first I am hearing of the grass length being an issue. When you call to get your permit, it is always a good idea to ask about the condition of the airstrip as Blackwater it is used for many other events including equestrian opportunities and parking. The mowing is via the State Forestry Service and maybe with high fuel cost some cutbacks have been made. Thank you for bringing this to the RAF’s attention. Please contact me to discuss this and any other items you may have.
I was one of 3 planes who landed here 22 Oct ’22 for 1-night. Beautiful set up. Runway was in Excellent condition, well mowed. Camped with the planes and used the great fire ring and grills set up by RAF. Short walk to adjacent park for hot shower. Firewood was very limited except for a little we got from the park host.
We discovered this airstrip by accident. We were camping at Krul Lake, and were out bike riding and exploring the area, and came across this. No planes that trip, but 1 or 2 trips later…. a number of planes flew in and out of there. Very cool. We didn’t know the first thing about aviation or these small planes but it was really interesting, and we got to talk to a few of the pilots and one guy let our daughter…. maybe 14 years old at the time…. sit in his plane.
I wish I knew when planes were flying in and out of there. How do I find out?
Anyway….. I’ve been somewhat enamored with the idea of being a pilot, and our daughter has taken an interest as well. Lately that is her preferred career choice. Actually….. she just did a Discovery flight a few days ago with Pensacola Air for her 16th birthday and absolutely loved it.
I might find a number for the Blackwater State Forestry Service and see what they can tell me. I’d love to head up there some weekend if I knew some planes would be flying in.
Hi Jeff —
Glad you found Pine Paradise in the forest. Blackwater is the results of a lot of hard work and great communications between the Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF) and the Florida State Forestry. We get a lot of campers from both campgrounds 1 & 2 biking and hiking stop by. I have attached several links that should answer any questions you might have about using the airstrip, camping, etc. The RAF looks forward to seeing two new pilots dropping in for a recreational visit or maybe supporting one of the RAF’s work parties as we try to help keep the amenities in good shape. You will most likely have to cut/paste or manually type the links (addresses) into your browser. All can be found on the RAF website, https://theraf.org/
Please give me a call and I will help you navigate the RAF site and AirField Guide as there is a lot of information and photos.
Home – Recreational Aviation Foundation (theraf.org)
8FD3 – Blackwater Airfield
USER PERMIT REQUIRED – To obtain the user permit, call David Creamer five days prior to departure, Mon-Fri 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Central Time, 850-957-5717. If unable to reach him, call Grace Quina at 850 957-5749. A return call to confirm permission to use the airstrip, after it has been checked, will likely be required. Pilots must also complete a safety briefing (click on the briefing icon).
Bobby Capozzi – Florida State Liaison
Recreational Aviation Foundation
(352) 443 – 0365
firstname.lastname@example.org | theRAF.org
The Recreational Aviation Foundation preserves, improves, and creates airstrips for recreational access.