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 »
Interstate 75 Access Facilities
Interstate 75 -- from Mile Marker 50 west to Mile Marker 80 -- runs through the northern portion of the national preserve. Facilities at Mile Markers 51, 63 and 70 provide recreational backcountry access for those interested in exploring this vast natural area.
Currently, travel into the backcountry from these access facilities is hike in only, with a few exceptions. Dispersed camping is allowed from all areas but Mile Marker 70 north that enters the Bear Island Unit of the national preserve. The Bear Island Unit requires camping in designated sites only at the Bear Island, Pink Jeep or Gator Head Campgrounds.
There are private properties in the backcountry -- respect private property and do not trespass.
If you plan on traveling into the backcountry be sure to fill out a backcountry permit and inform a friend or family member of your itinerary, expected time/date of return and how to contact the National Park Service in case of an emergency.
Once in the backcountry you have the ability to explore the wild beauty of the swamp but you should be prepared. Be aware of changing weather conditions and be sure that you are carrying the proper equipment for your exploration, especially: compass, maps, GPS, water, sun block and insect repellent. During the summer wet season expect to be walking through water in most areas.
In the future additional recreational activities may be allowed from specific access points.
Click below to learn more about specific access facilities.
Did You Know?
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.