Off-Road Vehicle Use

Swamp buggy moving through cypress trees in water
Swamp buggy in cypress swamp


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 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.


Please note: Off-road vehicle use requires appropriate permits. Renewals and new ORV permit requests are now issued on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays from 9:00am -1:30pm at the Nathaniel P. Reed Visitor Center (33000 Tamiami Trail East. Ochopee, FL 34141.) Permits will be issued on a first-come first-served basis. This permitting procedure will continue until further notice. Contact the Off-Road Vehicle Permitting Office at 239-631-9988 Fri-Mon during operation hours with questions.


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.


Don't have a Off-road vehicle, but still want to explore? Check out our list of permitted commercial operators in the preserve! They may be able to help!

Last updated: April 3, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

33100 Tamiami Trail East
Ochopee, FL 34141


239 695-2000

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