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

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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  • Secondary Trail Closure

    As part of a settlement agreement with plaintiffs related to the designation of secondary off-road vehicle trails, all secondary off-road vehicle trails are closed until further environmental review and analysis can be completed. More »

  • October Off-Road Vehicle Advisory Committee Meeting Cancelled

    The National Park Service at Big Cypress National Preserve has cancelled the off-road Vehicle Advisory Committee meeting that was scheduled for Tuesday, October 7. More »

2011 ORV Recreational Access Closure

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Date: May 18, 2011
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107

The National Park Service will be implementing the annual 60-day recreational Off-Road Vehicle closure from 12:01 a.m., Monday, May 23, 2011 through 11:59 p.m., Thursday, July 21, 2011. Recreational access will resume on Friday, July 22, 2011. This closure relates to those areas of the Preserve that allow for ATV, swamp buggies and street legal 4x4s.

The closure was originally scheduled to be 6/6 - 8/5, but due to the recent fire activity the closure is being modified. This action is being implemented after consultation with stakeholders as well as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The Recreational Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan calls for a 60 day seasonal closure to allow for a period free from resource pressures related to ORV use. The ORV closure within Big Cypress National Preserve was first instituted in 2002.

Landowners, and their guests, that hold special use permits to access private properties within the Preserve will retain continued access to property along approved routes.

Zone 4 of the Stairsteps Unit of the Preserve will reopen on Friday, June 10, 2011 pending water levels that allow for safe travel. The 60 day closure in Zone 4 was implemented on Monday, April 11, 2011.

Zone 4 of the Stairsteps Unit of the Preserve allows for access via airboats only. The Bear Island, Turner River and Corn Dance Units, and Zones 2 and 3 of the Stairsteps Unit provide for access by specified, wheeled ORVs.

Did You Know?


Mermaid sightings have been reported by sailors throughout history who often blamed the part-woman, part-fish beings for leading them astray. But folklore experts believe that what those sailors were seeing were not mermaids, but rather air-breathing manatees, or their dugong relatives. More...