• The Florida panther's steely gaze - NPS/RALPH ARWOOD

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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  • 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 »

Off-Road Vehicle Use

Airboat in prairie
 

Nearly impossible to reach by foot, generations have explored remote areas of the preserve using homemade airboats or swamp buggies. Today, people enjoy this traditional activity along an extensive trail system. Off-road vehicle use requires appropriate permits.

 

Please note: A valid permit is required before visitors can use off-road vehicles. Permits are issued at the Off-Road Vehicle Office.

 

Off-road vehicle operation on designated trails for hunting, fishing, frogging, camping, wildlife observation, transportation to private property, and other traditional nature-based activities are consistent with the Big Cypress National Preserve enabling legislation and the Addition Act, and are, therefore authorized in the Preserve.

Operation of off-road vehicles in excess of the authorized speed limit, off designated trails or for the purpose of challenging the vehicle against Preserve resources or other vehicles, such as racing, mudding, sport riding, motocross riding, and competitive events, is not consistent with the Big Cypress National Preserve enabling legislation, or the Addition Act. These non-traditional pursuits damage the resource and, therefore, are not authorized in Big Cypress National Preserve. Engaging in these activities can result in forfeiture of off-road vehicle access privileges.



To learn more about off-road vehicle recreation within the national preserve, please use the following links.

  • Off-road vehicle permit guidelines
  • Permit Renewal Form
  • Want to register an ATV or UTV? Learn more about the state's title requirements here.
  • To view maps of designated Off-Road Vehicle trails click here. Maps can be viewed per unit on printable PDF files, or all designated off-road vehicle trails may be viewed using Google Earth or Garmin software.
  • The Off-Road Vehicle Advisory Committee was established pursuant to the national preserve's 2000 Recreational Off-road Vehicle Management Plan and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, to examine issues and make recommendations regarding the management of Off-Road Vehicles within the Preserve. For more on the committee click here.
  • Organizers of group off-road vehicle events are required to obtain a special use permit, by clicking here.
  • Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan (2000).
  • Camp Owner Questions and Answers
  • BICY Land Protection Plan
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Big Cypress Wildlife Management Area Hunting Regs. For more information on Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, click here.

Did You Know?

A young alligator emerges from its egg.

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.