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

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Secondary Trail Closure

    As part of a settlement agreement with plaintiffs related to the designation of secondary off-road vehicle trails, all secondary off-road vehicle trails are closed until further environmental review and analysis can be completed. More »

  • October Off-Road Vehicle Advisory Committee Meeting Cancelled

    The National Park Service at Big Cypress National Preserve has cancelled the off-road Vehicle Advisory Committee meeting that was scheduled for Tuesday, October 7. More »

Night Sky & Astronomy Programs

Visitors enjoying the night sky at Big Cypress National Preserve

Join us for an evening of dark sky education and celebration! View one of the darkest night skies in the eastern United States this winter by attending ranger-led astronomy programs at Big Cypress National Preserve.

Presentations will include constellation tours that guide visitors through the night sky, and telescope viewing of stars, star clusters, planets, nebulae, and galaxies.

These events are free and open to the public.


2014-2015 SCHEDULE

The National Park Service, along with the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association, the International Dark Sky Association-South Florida Chapter, and the Everglades Astronomical Society will be conducting night sky outings on the following dates and times through the winter:

  • December 6, 2014, at 6:30 PM
  • January 23, 2015, at 7:00 PM
  • February 21, 2015, at 7:30 PM
  • March 20, 2015, at 8:00 PM

Big Cypress has some of the darkest night skies in Florida.


Programs will be conducted at the southern end of Seagrape Drive. The welcome center and Seagrape Drive are located along US 41, east of SR 29, between Mile Marker 73 and 74.

Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center
33000 Tamiami Trail East
Ochopee, FL 34141


Outdoor seating will not be available during the interpretive program, telescope viewing, and constellation tours. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets if seating is desired.

Night temperatures can be cool and mosquitoes may be present. Visitors should be prepared for weather conditions. Presentations may be conducted in the welcome center auditorium if weather prevents night sky viewing.

Pants and long sleeve shirts or jackets and bug spray are recommended. Participants may consider bringing a flashlight (preferably with a red filter) for walking to and from the viewing area. Individuals and local astronomy societies are welcome to bring personal binoculars and telescopes to the viewing area.



Dark skies are essential natural, scientific, cultural, and economic resources. National parks, including Big Cypress National Preserve, are home to some of the last remaining dark skies in the country and are committed to protecting the night sky resource.

To learn more about the importance of natural dark sky and how to minimize light pollution go to -http://www.nps.gov/bicy/naturescience/lightscape.htm


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.