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

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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  • 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 »

  • 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 »


Big Cypress National Preserve experiences two predominant seasons- wet and dry.

(May through October)

Seasonal rains bring higher water levels to Big Cypress, causing wildlife such as alligators and wading birds to disperse and to be seen less frequently. Mosquito levels may become high, and exploring trails in some areas of the preserve can become intolerable. While visiting during this season you may find daily afternoon thunderstorms, high humidity, temperatures in the mid - to - high 80s and a multitude of mosquitoes. During this time of year you will also find an array of flowering plants in bloom, views of towering storm clouds and opportunities to experience the preserve with fewer visitors.

Remember, during the rainy season mosquitoes may be unbearable in some areas.

(November through April)

While some birds are drawn to the preserve year round, the abundance of migrating and wintering birds makes the area a birder's paradise during the dry season. Falling water levels within the Big Cypress result in abundant wildlife concentrated in ponds and canals, providing excellent viewing opportunities.

The dry season is the busy season in south Florida's national parks. Most visitors to Big Cypress come between December and March. During months of higher visitation campgrounds may be busy. Larger crowds, fewer mosquitoes, greater wildlife viewing opportunities and more enjoyable hiking, camping and canoeing adventures characterize this time of year.

Finally, the Preserve offers a greater variety and number of ranger-led activities that provide an in-depth look into the special natural and cultural resources protected in the area.


Taking seasonal changes into consideration and planning ahead are the best ways to take advantage of recreational opportunities. Choosing what time of year to visit, based on your interests, can be the key to an enjoyable trip.

A hat, comfortable clothing and sturdy walking shoes or boots are necessary for anyone planning to hike. Hikers must always carry plenty of water. One gallon per person per day is recommended.

Contact the Preserve at 239-695-4758, or 239-695-1201 for information on current weather conditions.

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.