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

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

There are park alerts in effect.
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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 »

  • 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 »

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?

A purple galinule walking along spadder dock.

The purple galinule though one of the most colorful birds in Big Cypress, is often well camouflaged. Look carefully along canal edges and gator holes for this beautiful bird. Many of the surrounding colors blend well with the birds feathers.