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    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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  • 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 »

  • 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 »

  • 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 »

Hiker Dies in Preserve

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Date: May 12, 2009
Contact: Ed Clark, 239-695-1108

On Saturday, May 9, 2009 at 7:09 p.m., at the Oasis facility within Big Cypress National Preserve, Michael B. Sclawy-Adelman, 17, of Weston, Florida was pronounced dead by Collier County Emergency Medical Services Control. The exact cause of death is unknown at this time.

Earlier on Saturday morning Sclawy-Adelman embarked on a 20 mile hike with members of a Boy Scout group based out of Weston in an attempt to earn a merit badge towards becoming an Eagle Scout. The group consisted of two adult leaders and three scouts.

At approximately 5:56 p.m. Collier County Dispatch notified National Park Service (NPS) Dispatch that there was a person down on the Florida Trail north of US 41 and requested a joint rescue effort.

The NPS, Collier County Sheriff's Office and Collier County EMS mobilized a rescue effort at the Oasis facility. At approximately 6:38 p.m. two NPS Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) were helicoptered to the patient’s location within the Preserve backcountry, approximately 4 miles north of Oasis along the trail.

Upon arrival they found that CPR was in-progress performed by the scoutmaster. The NPS EMTs took over CPR, loaded the patient into a helicopter and transported him to the Oasis facility where Collier County EMS Medical Control pronounced him dead. Further details surrounding the incident continue to be investigated.

The Florida National Scenic Trail is a 1,400 mile trail that runs from Big Cypress National Preserve in the south to Gulf Islands National Seashore to the north, approximately 45.4 miles of the trail run though the Preserve. Many people consider the Preserve portion of the trail to be some of the most scenic, yet rugged.

Hiking conditions within the Preserve can be challenging at any time. During this time of year dry conditions combined with excessive heat require that hikers take plenty of water. In planning a long-range hike it is recommended that each hiker have one gallon of water per day at a minimum.

Did You Know?


Before Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States designated Big Cypress as the country's first national preserve, in 1974, he worked as a National Park Ranger at Yellowstone National Park, in 1936. He was the only US President to have worked for the National Park Service.