• 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 »

Stairsteps Unit Designated Trails

Effective 8/1/2014, following the 60-day recreational off-road vehicle closure, only the designated primary trails in the backcountry will be open to recreational off-road vehicle use and access. All secondary trails will remain closed on an interim basis for an additional 60 days in an effort to resolve a lawsuit brought against the National Park Service related to the process in which the secondary trails were selected and analyzed for inclusion into the designated trail network.

 

The secondary trails are being analyzed through an environmental review currently being undertaken by the National Park Service. This current review effort will more clearly identify suitable trails that may be included within the designated trail network. Information on this review process can be found here.

 

The Stairsteps Unit is broken into various zones.

Zone-2 allows for off-road vehicle use by Swamp Buggies and all-terrain vehicle. Dispersed camping is allowed. You may drive to a location along a designated trail nearest the camping spot you prefer, park along the shoulder of the trail in such a manner that does not impede travel by others, and carry your camping equipment to the site. Currently, there are six miles of primary trails within the unit.

Zone-3 currently allows for off-road vehicle use by Swamp Buggies and all-terrain vehicles. Dispersed camping is allowed, as described above. The unit currently has three miles of primary trails.

Zone-4 can be accessed only by airboats. Airboats may access designated camp areas. This zone currently has 57 miles of designated trails.

To view a map (11" x 17") of the trails of all zones in the unit that allow off-road vehicle access click here.
Map updated 08/01/2014.

Click here for a list of trails in the unit that provides coordinates of start and end points, identifies whether a trail is open or closed, length of trail and destination information.

Click here for a Google Earth file (.kml), or here for a .gdb file compatible with Garmin GPS uints, of trails and facilities in the Stairsteps Unit of the Preserve.

Did You Know?

A purple galinule walking along spadder dock.

The purple galinule though one of the most colorful birds in Big Cypress, is often well camouflaged. Look carefully along canal edges and gator holes for this beautiful bird. Many of the surrounding colors blend well with the birds feathers.