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

    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 »

Backcountry Permits


Backcountry permit

Why Do I Need To Fill Out a Backcountry Permit?
Backcountry permits are a useful way of monitoring visitor use within the Preserve. Permits are required for every hiker, biker, off-road vehicle, or watercraft entering the backcountry. This applies to both day use and overnight activities.

Permits are free and can be filled out on-line and printed. Additionally, they are located at every backcountry trailhead and you can get them at the visitor centers. The permits take only a few minutes to complete.

If filling out a permit on-line and printing from home, here's what you do-

  • Open the backcountry permit file by clicking here.
  • Fill out all mandatory boxes (those that are highlighted with red) on top permit, inserting text or choosing from the drop-down menus. The second permit on the page will automatically fill the same data from the first permit.
  • Print out two copies of the page, so you have four identical copies. Cut each page in half, separating each identical permit.
  • Distribute copies as follows: One copy permit box at access point; One copy on dashboard of vehicle; Two copies in plastic bag with you as you travel in backcountry.

Things to Remember

  • The printed permit is not waterproof! Make sure you put the permit in a plastic bag when taking it into the backcountry with you.
  • This permit is specific to Big Cypress, so don't use it at Everglades National Park.
  • If you hold the mouse over the field as you are filling out the form, without clicking, a "hint" will be displayed to assist you in completing the information (note that there is a specific line for "cell phone #").
  • If filling out a permit from an access point or visitor center, review and print instructions by clicking here. It will make the process easier and provide better information on backcountry use to the National Park Service.

Backcountry permits provide the National Park Service with vital visitor use statistics and use patterns. The time you take to fill out the permit will provide the Preserve with better user information.

The ability of the Preserve to manage for a satisfying, safe visitor experience depends on how much the Preserve knows about the use of an area. The data collected from backcountry permits provides information which the Preserve uses for management decisions.

Did You Know?

Hunters entering the Preserve on a swamp buggy. Photo courtesy of Jack Moller.

Big Cypress National Preserve was one of the first national preserves within the National Park System. As a preserve, Big Cypress manages for a broader range of recreational activities, including hunting and off-road vehicle access.