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

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • 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 »

  • Annual 60-Day ORV Closure for Wheeled Vehicles

    Beginning at 12:01 am Monday, June 2, the annual 60-day recreational ORV closure for all units of the Preserve that allow for wheeled ORV access will begin. The closure will be lifted on Friday, August 1. 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 »

  • Campground Closure

    All campgrounds but Midway and the loop in the Bear Island Campground are closed through August 29. 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 »

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.

 

The off-road vehicle permit office (located at the Oasis Visitor Center) is open Thursday through Sunday 9:00-4:30 pm. The office is closed December 25.

Off-road vehicle inspections are conducted 9:00-12:00 pm, on a first-come, first served basis, and 12:30-4:00 pm by appointment only. The office is available for renewals on Mondays only.

For more information contact the office at 239-695-1205.

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 great white heron scratches its neck. Notice the color of the legs.

The great white heron is very similar to the great white egret. However, look closely and you will see that the heron has yellow legs, while the egret has black legs. The great white heron is found only in south Florida in the United States. It can also be found on several caribbean islands.