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 »
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 »
I-75, Mile Marker 70
Mile Marker 70, North & South
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 cross-country, be prepared.
Both the Bear Island and Turner River Units of the national 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?
HP Williams and Oasis Visitor Center are popular places to see alligators. The best time to see large congregations of alligators is typically January-May. Do not feed or approach wildlife.