2014 Zone 4 Closure
Beginning at 12:01 am Monday, April 7, 2013, the Zone 4 airboat access within Big Cypress National Preserve will be closed due to low water conditions. More »
Turner River Closure
Turner River is closed due to low water conditions. It is advised that visitors consider paddling Halfway Creek as an alternative. More »
Beginning January 27, through August 28, Burns Lake Campground will be closed to camping. It will still be accessible for day use and backcountry access, however. 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 »
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 national preserve.
The national preserve portion of the trail can be logically divided into two sections moving in a southerly direction:
NATIONAL PRESERVE'S NORTHERN BOUNDARY TO INTERSTATE 75
This section of trail follows Nobles Grade, an old oil road, through hardwood, prairie and pinelands. Beyond the national 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 more information.
INTERSTATE 75 TO HIGHWAY 41
Trailheads are located on Highway 41 near Oasis 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.
HIGHWAY 41 TO LOOP ROAD
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.
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.
Please refer to maps on the Florida Trail Association webpage (click here), or call the visitor center for detailed directions.
Did You Know?
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.