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

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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  • 2014 Zone 4 Closure

    Beginning at 12:01 am Monday, April 7, 2013, the Zone 4 airboat access within Big Cypress National Preserve will be closed due to low water conditions. More »

  • Annual 60-Day ORV Closure for Wheeled Vehicles

    Beginning at 12:01 am Monday, June 2, the annual 60-day recreational ORV closure for all units of the Preserve that allow for wheeled ORV access will begin. The closure will be lifted on Friday, August 1. More »

  • Turner River Closure

    Turner River is closed due to low water conditions. It is advised that visitors consider paddling Halfway Creek as an alternative. More »

  • Campground Closure

    All campgrounds but Midway and the loop in the Bear Island Campground are closed through August 29. 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 »

3rd Annual Swamp Heritage Festival

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News Release Date: November 7, 2013
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107

Join us on December 7, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., at the Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center as we celebrate the history and culture of South Florida for the third annual Swamp Heritage Festival. The welcome center is located at 33000 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, FL 34141, three miles east of State Road 29 on U. S. 41, the Tamiami Trail.

This FREE family-friendly event shines a spotlight upon the history of this rugged, yet beautiful environment through a variety of storytellers, musicians, local experts, authors, artists and residents that will share their love of the swamp through programs, activities, thought-provoking presentations, food and music.

"Today, so many people in South Florida focus on the beach. All too often we forget that it was the resources of the swamp that really attracted people to the area, and still draws many to explore and recreate in the depths of this wild place." stated Jill Wilson, a park ranger at Big Cypress National Preserve responsible for coordinating the festival.

The festival will highlight the inhabitants of early south Florida, whose rugged strength and pioneering spirit contributed to the shaping of today's unique and diverse culture. Everyone can discover what daily life was like in such a remote, and at times, inhospitable place. These unique chapters in American history add to the rich and colorful tableau that comprises our shared past and present.

"The festival provides a great opportunity for contemporary cultures with  deep connections to the swamp to come together and share memories of the past and hopes for the future of the Big Cypress." said Bob DeGross, spokesperson, Big Cypress National Preserve.

Check out our website for more details on the variety of activities and presentations for the day go to - http://www.nps.gov/bicy/swampheritagefestival.htm

This year the Swamp Heritage Festival kicks-off the 40th anniversary of the Big Cypress National Preserve. On October 11, 1974 Congress established Big Cypress as America's first National Preserve. The Preserve was created through a grassroots effort by many to ensure that the Big Cypress Swamp would be protected and enjoyed for generations.

Did You Know?

Many large trees that did exist were harvested in the early 1900s.

There are few "big cypress" in Big Cypress National Preserve. The name actually refers to the great expanse of cypress forest, hundreds of thousands of acres, within the Big Cypress Swamp.