I-75 Mile Marker 70
Mile Marker 70 North and South
The north facility is accessible from I-75 westbound only. Upon leaving the facility, continuing to the west, a u-turn can be made at mile marker 80 to return eastbound. This facility has a walk-through gate in the wildlife fence* that allows access into the Bear Island Unit of the Preserve. Hiking, walk-in hunting, fishing and camping in designated areas (Bear Island, Pink Jeep and Gator Head Campgrounds) is allowed from this site. There are no marked hiking trails originating from this site. Travel requires individuals be familiar with orienteering by map and compass or by the use of a GPS unit - be prepared.
The south facility is accessible from I-75 eastbound. Upon leaving the facility, continuing to the east, a u-turn can be made at mile marker 63 to return westbound. This facility has a walk-through gate in the wildlife fence* that allow access into the Turner River Unit of the Preserve. Hiking, biking, walk-in hunting, fishing and dispersed camping is allowed from this site. Upon walking into the area you will be on designated off-road vehicle trail TRU-2 (Cypress Lane). You can follow the trail to a network of other designated trails that allow for off-road vehicle use (must use other access points), hiking and biking. Biking is allowed only on designated off-road vehicle trails, and not all designated trails will be suitable for biking. You may hike on designated trails or choose to orienteer with map and compass or GPS across country - be prepared.
Both the Bear Island and Turner River Units of the Preserve are included within the Big Cypress Wildlife Management Area, which is managed in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Hunting and fishing requires appropriate state licenses. Be sure to familiarize yourself with state fishing regulations and wildlife management area-related hunting regulations. Hunters are reminded to check in and out with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission check stations.
Entering the backcountry requires that you fill out a backcountry permit.
* Wildlife fencing is installed along I-75 to minimize the threat of wildlife, including the endangered Florida panther, from getting on to the busy roadway. Fences lead wildlife to underpasses beneath the interstate to allow them to travel through the habitat. Be sure to keep the walk-through gates closed to eliminate the risk of wildlife finding them and passing through them.
Did You Know?
Within the preserve, the HP Williams and Oasis Wildlife Viewing Platforms are popular areas to see alligators. The best time to see large congregations of alligators is typically from January through May. Remeber not to feed or approach these dangerous animals.