Ranger-Led Activities

a ranger and several visitors stand in knee deep water

NPS

Winter 2018 through Spring 2019 Ranger-Led Programs

Join us as we get out and explore the wonders of the Big Cypress Swamp! for details on activities and to make reservations, call the phone number listed with the program descriptions.

Reservations are accepted up to 14 days in advance of the activity. Please see the program list as to the start date. All programs will end April 13, 2019 unless otherwise indicated.

Keep up to date with all of our ranger led activities as well as upcoming special events by exploring our park calendar.
 
MANGROVES AND MANATEES!
Join us for a talk that highlights a habitat that is home to one of our largest native marine mammals, the manatee.
Starting: Nov. 18th
When: daily at 1:30pm and 2:30pm
Duration: 30 minutes
Where: Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center
Reservations: No reservations are needed.
This program is accessible
 
SCALES, TEETH, AND A BIG TAIL
Join us for a talk about one of our largest native freshwater reptiles, the American Alligator. Discoveries abound!
Starting: Nov. 18th
When: daily at 2pm and 3pm
Duration: 30 minutes
Where: The Oasis Visitor Center
Reservations: No reservations are needed.
This program is accessible
 
WET AND WILD WALK!
Explore with a guide and get your feet wet while you discover what is beyond the "side of the road!" Uneven terrain. For adults and childredn ages 8 and up.
Starting: Dec. 9th
When: Sundays and Mondays at 10am
Duration: approximately 2 hours
Where: Oasis Visitor Center, mile marker 55
Reservations: required 2 weeks in advance. Please call 239-695-1201 to make a reservation.
What to wear: Wear long pants and sturdy tie-up shoes. Bring a change of clothes, including shoes, for your ride home.
What to bring: For the hike you'll want water, snacks, camera, binoculars, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
 
HEART OF THE SWAMP CANOE TRIP
Come with a sense of adventure as we paddle the waters of Big Cypress National Preserve! Canoes, paddles, and life jackets are provided. Trips could vary by weather and water levels. Adults must have canoes skills. Recommended for children ages 10 years or older.
Starting: Dec. 9th
When: Saturday and Sundays at 10am
Duration: approximately 2 hours
Where: Turner River Canoe Access, mile marker 70
Reservations: required 2 weeks in advance. Please call 239-695-1201 to make a reservation. Maximum of 4 people per reservation
What to bring: water, snacks, camera, binoculars, sunscreen, and insect repellent
 
DEEP LAKE HIKE
Hike through lush greenery and standing water to a rare natural sinkhole lake rich in history.
Starting/Ending: Dec. 13th, ending Jan. 31st
When: Thursdays at 10am
Duration: approximately 2.5 hours
Where: meet your guide off route 29 at the Deep Lake Fire Station sign at 9:30am to park inside the gate.
Reservations: required 2 weeks in advance. Please call 239-695-4758 to make a reservation.
What to wear: long pants and sturdy shoes (required) that you can get wet and muddy. Bring a change of clothes and shoes.
What to bring: water, snacks, camera, binoculars, sunscreen, and insect repellent
 
KIRBY STORTER BOARDWALK BEGINNER BIRDING
You will walk a mile round-trip boardwalk and be introduced to the birds of the swamp, field guides, and birding techniques. Look, listen, learn, and share stories.
Starting/Ending: Feb. 7th, ending Apr. 4th
When: every other Thursday at 9:30 am
Duration: approximately 1 hours
Where: meet at Kirby Storter Boardwalk, mile marker 62.5.
Reservations: not required
This program is accessible.
What to bring: binoculars, camera, water, and a birding field guide. Insect repellent optional.
 
FIRE PRAIRIE TRAIL HIKE
Five-mile round trip hike on a natural trail over uneven terrin. Open vistas abound.
Starting/Ending: Feb. 14th, ending Apr. 11th
When: every other Thursday at 10am
Duration: approximately 2-3 hours
Where: meet your guide at the Fire Prairie trailhead, approximately 14-miles north on the Turner River Road (Turn off US 41 at H.P. Williams Roadside Park). Bring camera, binoculars and plenty of water.
Reservations: required 2 weeks in advance. Please call 239-695-4758 to make a reservation.
What to bring: water, camera, and binoculars
 
Campground Campfire Talks
Come, join us around the campfire and find out some secrets of the Big Cypress Swamp.
Starting/Ending: Dec. 28th, ending Mar. 22st
When:
Midway Campground, 2nd Friday of the month
7pm on Jan. 11, Feb. 8th, Mar. 8th, Mar. 15th

Monument Campground, 4th Friday of the month
7pm on Dec. 28th, Jan. 25th, Feb. 22nd
8pm on Mar. 22nd
Duration: approximately 1 hour
Reservations: not needed
This is an accessible program.
Where: Midway or Monument Campgrounds, depending on date
What to bring: some seating is available or bring your own chair
 

NIGHT SKY & ASTRONOMY PROGRAMS
View one of the darkest night skies in the eastern United States by attending ranger-led astronomy programs at Big Cypress National Preserve. The National Park Service, along with partners, will be conducting night sky outings. Learn more about upcoming astronomy programs.

PERMITTED COMMERCIAL OPERATORS
Various activities into the national preserve are also offered by permitted commercial operators. Current operators and permitted activities.

 

SPECIAL REQUEST PROGRAMS
Schedule permitting, park rangers are available for on-site special request programs and off-site presentations for school groups, civic organizations and other local groups. For information and scheduling, please contact the Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator at 239-695-1164.

Last updated: November 14, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

33100 Tamiami Trail East
Ochopee, FL 34141

Phone:

(239) 695-2000

Contact Us