Currently there is fire activity within the Preserve. More »
Campfire Ban in Effect.
Due to severe fire conditions campfires restrictions are currently in place. More »
2013 Zone 4 Closure
Beginning at 12:01 am Monday, April 8, 2013, the Zone 4 airboat access within Big Cypress National Preserve will be closed due to low water conditions. More »
Beginning Monday, May 13 through Friday, August 16 camping will be available at the Midway Campground and the “loop” in the Bear Island Campground within Big Cypress National Preserve. All other established campgrounds will be closed. More »
Florida National Scenic Trail
Florida National Scenic Trail stretches 1,400 miles across Florida, from Gulf Islands National Seashore to Big Cypress National Preserve. The southernmost sections of the trail lie within the Preserve.
The Preserve portion of the trail can be logically divided into three sections:
LOOP ROAD TO HIGHWAY 41
The trail begins (or ends) at the Loop Road approximately 13 miles from its east end on Highway 41. The other end is across the highway from the Oasis Visitor Center. Please refer to maps on the Florida Trail Association webpage (click here), or call the visitor center for detailed directions.
The trail winds through dwarf cypress and prairies and crosses through Robert's Lake Strand. It is well marked and easy to moderate in the winter season, but knee to waist deep in water during the rainy season. This part of the trail is an easy and well-marked way to take a short walk into the Preserve to get that "out in the middle of nowhere" feeling. Sometimes the only sounds you hear are wind and the occasional jet flying over.
HIGHWAY 41 TO INTERSTATE 75
Trailheads are located on highway 41 near Big Cypress Visitor Center and on Interstate 75 (Alligator Alley) at the rest area at mile marker 63.
The trail passes through a variety of habitat types including hardwood hammocks, pinelands, prairies and cypress. Some high ground is available for camping at 13-mile camp. DURING THE DRY SEASON, THERE IS NO WATER AVAILABLE ON THIS ENTIRE ROUTE! YOU MUST CARRY ALL WATER! This walk is not for the casual hiker. It is not heavily marked and vegetation grows over it during the rainy season when there is little foot traffic.
IINTERSTATE 75 TO PRESERVE'S NORTHERN BOUNDARY
This section of trail follows Nobles Grade, an old oil road, through hardwood, prairie and pinelands. Beyond the Preserve boundary the trail is limited to a small number of hikers who are members of the Florida Trail Association per month traveling through the Seminole Reservation.
Please contact the Florida Trail Association for further information.
Did You Know?
There are few "big cypress" in Big Cypress National Preserve. The name comes from the great expanse of cypress forest, hundreds of thousands of acres, within the Big Cypress Swamp.