• The Florida panther's steely gaze - NPS/RALPH ARWOOD

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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  • Secondary Trail Closure

    Effective 8/1/2014, following the 60-day recreational ORV closure, only the designated primary trails in the backcountry will be open to recreational ORV use and access. All secondary trails will remain closed on an interim basis for an additional 60-days More »

Timeline of Historic Events

2500 BCE

Glades People move into South Florida


Spanish explorer Juan Ponce De Leon makes first contact with American Indians in Florida


Spain cedes Florida territory to the US for $5 million


Florida becomes the 27th US state


Organic Act establishing the National Park Service is enacted by Congress


US 41 (Tamiami Trail) breaks ground connecting East and West Florida


Town of Pinecrest, along Loop Road breaks ground with plans of it being the "next Miami," but never fully realized


On April 26, US 41 (Tamiami Trail) officially opened


Ernest F. Coe drafted a proposal to Senator Duncan Fletcher, and Congresswoman Ruth Bryan Owen introduced legislation for Everglades National Park, which included today's Big Cypress National Preserve


Located at today's Monument Lake Campground, a Seminole conference, attended by approximately 275 Seminole Indians, Florida governor and other dignitaries met to discuss how the federal government could assist during the Great Depression, which they declined and asked to be left alone


The land within the national preserve's boundaries was heavily logged for its durable and rot-resitant cypress wood to be used for everything from the hulls of military vessels to bridges and railroad ties.


Marjorie Stoneman Douglas publishes River of Grass, advocating for Everglades preservation


Everglades National Park is established, minus the land comprised of today's Big Cypress National Preserve


Everglades jetport breaks ground with plans of being the largest international airport in the world


Leopold-Marshall Report officially released regarding the environmental impacts of the Everglades Jetport. Construction was subsequently halted after the first of six runways was completed, in 1970.


Environmentalist Nathaniel Reed, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, Julie Nixon Eisenhower, and others advocate for establishment of Big Cypress National Preserve


On November 23, President Richard Nixon releases a statement proposing the federal acquisition of the Big Cypress Swamp for a national reserve


Big Cypress Conservation Act (Florida Statute 380.055) is passed by the House and Senate


Congress passed bill and sent it to President Richard Nixon, authorizing the federal government to purchase Big Cypress National Preserve for $150 million.


October 11, Big Cypress National Preserve is Established (Public Law 93-440), becoming America's first national preserve, through the leadership of President Gerald Ford


Big Cypress National Preserve Addition Act (Public Law 100-301), adding roughly 130,000 acres to the national preserve


Comprehensive Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan implemented


Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center dedicated


On October 11, Big Cypress National Preserve celebrates its 40th anniversary

Did You Know?


Ervin T. Rouse (1917-1981) wrote one of the most popular fiddling tunes of all time..."Orange Blossom Special"...about the luxury train from Orlando to Miami. He was a resident of the Loop Road area and a friend of the Seminoles.