• 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 »

Preserve Related Closure Information

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Date: May 21, 2009
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107

Effective 4:30 pm on May 21, 2009 the ban on open fires in the backcountry is rescinded and the Bear Island Unit including Bear Island Campground are reopened for public recreational use.

Beginning on Monday, June 1, 2009 all units within the Preserve that allow for wheeled Off-road Vehicle (ORV) access will be closed for 60 days with access being re-opened on Friday, July 31, 2009.

As of Monday March 23, 2009 the Zone 4 airboat access within Big Cypress National Preserve has been closed due to low water conditions. The unit will remain closed for the mandatory 60 days or as soon as water levels allow the area to be opened following the 60 day closure. Due to continued low water levels the unit remains closed until further notice.

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

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

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.

For more information on other Preserve closures click here.

Did You Know?


Big Cypress National Preserve is big. REALLY BIG. With a total land area of 1,139 square miles, the state of Rhode Island can easily fit within its boundaries.