Activities with pets are very limited in Big Cypress National Preserve. Pets are not allowed on any boardwalks or back country hiking trails or in the visitor centers. Pets may accompany visitors in the campgrounds, parking lot grassy areas, picnic areas, and at pullouts along the paved scenic drives. When walking your pet, it must be leashed at all times. Please do not leave your pet unattended.

Car temperatures rise quickly in the sun, even on cool days, especially here in south Florida. Your pet can easily die of heat exhaustion. We recommend you not leave pets in the car at all when temperatures are above 68 degrees. If you must leave a pet in your vehicle, open the windows as much as possible and leave water to drink (remember - a water bowl can be knocked over).

Remember the rules of a good B.A.R.K. Ranger

B = Bag Your Poop

  • Help keep Big Cypress clean, pick up dog poop in a doggie or plastic bag and dispose of in any garbage can located throughout the Preserve.
  • Dog poop is not a natural fertilizer and dogs can carry disease such as parvovirus and roundworms into the park’s wildlife populations.
  • Water sources may also be polluted by dog poop.
A = Always Wear A Leash
  • Pets must be restrained on a leash no longer than 6-feet
  • Leashes protect dogs from becoming lost and from wilderness hazards such as alligators.
R = Respect Wildlife
  • Dogs can chase and threaten wildlife, scaring birds and other animals.
  • The scent left behind by a dog can signal the presence of a predator, disrupting or altering the behavior of park wildlife.
  • Please keep your dog at a respectful distance from any animals you may encounter.
K = Know Where To Go
  • In Big Cypress dogs are allowed on the grassy areas around the parking lots and in the campgrounds (be sure to keep on leashes).
  • Dogs are not allowed on any of the boardwalks or backcountry trails or in the visitor centers.

Last updated: December 18, 2023

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33100 Tamiami Trail East
Ochopee, FL 34141


239 695-2000

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