• 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 »

  • 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

    Beginning January 27, through August 28, Burns Lake Campground will be closed to camping. It will still be accessible for day use and backcountry access, however. 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 »

  • Portion of Florida National Scenic Trail Closed

    Florida National Scenic Trail as well as its side trails north of Interstate 75 are closed due to the Orange Blossom Fire. More »

Special Use Permits

Some outdoor activities require a special use permit. These activities include getting married at the Preserve, having a picnic with more than 50 people, commercial filming and photography, and athletic contests. A special use permit is also required for memorialization by the spreading of ashes (human remains).

For questions related to the application process specified below, please contact the special use permit coordiantor's office at 239-695-1117.

For all other press-related questions, please contact Bob DeGross, the Preserve's public information officer at 239-695-1107.


Special Use Permit Application
To apply for a special use permit for these activities, download an application, fill it out, and send it to:

Big Cypress National Preserve
33100 Tamiami Trail East
Ochopee, FL 34141
Attn: Special Use Permit Coordinator

Special instructions are listed on the special use permit information sheet; please read carefully. A completed application must be accompanied by a non-refundable application fee of $100 in the form of a cashier's check or money order made payable to National Park Service.


A special use permit is required for activities that provide a benefit to an individual, group, or organization rather than the public at large and that require some degree of management from the National Park Service to protect resources and the public interest.
Some examples of special events that require permits are:

  • concerts
  • ceremonies
  • cultural programs

Freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly are constitutional rights. However, the courts have recognized that activities associated with the exercise of these rights may be reasonably regulated to protect park resources. Therefore, all first amendment activities require special use permits and the National Park Service may regulate the time, place, and manner in which they are conducted.
Some examples of special events that require permits are:

  • religious services
  • collecting signatures for petitions
  • public demonstrations or assemblies
  • distribution and/or sale of printed matter

Other activities may require permits if there is the potential for interference with visitor use, congestion of highly visited area, or possible impact on park resources.

Did You Know?


Before Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States designated Big Cypress as the country's first national preserve, in 1974, he worked as a National Park Ranger at Yellowstone National Park, in 1936. He was the only US President to have worked for the National Park Service.