• 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 »

  • Interstate 75 Mile Marker 63 Closure

    Beginning summer of 2013, the rest area and backcountry access at Mile Marker 63 will be closed due to construction. More »

2013 60-day Recreational Off-Road Vehicle Closure

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Date: May 28, 2013
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday, June 3 the annual 60-day recreational ORV closure for all units of Big Cypress National Preserve that allow for wheeled ORV access will begin. The closure will be lifted on Friday, August 2 when recreational access will resume.

The Recreational Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan calls for a 60-day seasonal closure to allow 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.

Once the 60 day closure period is lifted on August 2, ORV trails will re-open with the exception of approximately 62 miles of secondary trails within the Turner River and Corn Dance Units of the Preserve. All secondary trails that remain closed after the 60 day closure period expires, will be subject to environmental review within the framework of the National Environmental Policy Act. Preserve Superintendent, Pedro Ramos, said "This closure is necessary in order to engage in careful environmental review of the impacts of these trails." He added "Re-opening of any of these trails will be subject to the outcomes of the environmental review, which will include the benefits of civic engagement and public input.

Updated maps of the designated trails within each unit of the Preserve can be found by clicking here.

The recreational closure for airboat use within Zone 4 of the Stairsteps Unit was implemented from 4/8/13 through 6/6/13. Since water levels have rebounded within Zone 4 recreational airboat access into the area will resume on 6/7. Zone 4 of the Stairsteps Unit 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. The Preserve allows for ORV travel along designated trails only.

Did You Know?

Bear in a tree.

Many do not expect to see bears in Florida. Actually, we have a healthy population within the state. Big Cypress is one of their ideal habitats in Southwest Florida. If camping in the area, be sure to keep your camp "bear proof."