• 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 »

Staying on the Trails at Big Cypress

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Date: November 10, 2011
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107

With the designation of Off-Road Vehicle trails throughout all of Big Cypress National Preserve, the National Park Service is working hard at getting the word out to ORVers that staying on designated trails is imperative. Over the next two weekends National Park Service staff will be handing out informational notices and actively enforcing designated trail use. Those visitors traveling off designated trails may face the loss of their vehicle permit and operators permit for up to one year.

"This is a good time of year to take this action," stated Pedro Ramos, Superintendent. "It's the opening day of one of the more popular hunting seasons and there will be many people going into the woods. We have to let those that want to access the backcountry using an ORV know that the success of this trail system depends on them."

The use of ORVs, such as swamp buggies, to access remote areas of the Big Cypress Swamp has been taking place since the 1920s. It is a long-standing mode of access for those wanting to escape to the woods of South Florida. When the Preserve was created in 1974, Congress, through the enabling legislation, directed the National Park Service to continue managed ORV access.

Maps of the designated trail system and information on how to suggest trails for consideration may be found at -



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.