• 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 »

Bear Island Unit Trails & Facilities

Effective 8/1/2014, following the 60-day recreational off-road vehicle closure, only the designated primary trails in the backcountry will be open to recreational off-road vehicle use and access. All secondary trails will remain closed on an interim basis for an additional 60 days in an effort to resolve a lawsuit brought against the National Park Service related to the process in which the secondary trails were selected and analyzed for inclusion into the designated trail network.


The secondary trails are being analyzed through an environmental review currently being undertaken by the National Park Service. This current review effort will more clearly identify suitable trails that may be included within the designated trail network. Information on this review process can be found here.


There are 21 miles of designated primary trails in the Bear Island Unit of the Preserve. This unit allows for access by swamp buggies, all-terrain vehicles and street-legal 4x4s. Camping in the unit is at designated camping areas only.

Printable map -
hi res here (8 1/2" x 14")
Map updated 08/01/2014.

Click here for a list of all trails in the unit that provides start and end point coordinates, trail length and destination.

Click here for a Google Earth file (.kml), or here for a .gdb file compatible with Garmin GPS units, of trails and facilities in the Bear Island Unit of the Preserve.

Did You Know?

A young alligator emerges from its egg.

Alligator hatching season is typically September through October in south Florida. A female can lay up to 50 eggs, about 45 of which will hatch, but only two or three will make it beyond the first two years of life.