Big Cypress National Preserve on the map

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FLORIDA

Big Cypress

National Preserve

In the southern part of the state, near Ochopee

The preserve conserves and protects the natural scenic, floral and faunal, and recreational values of the Big Cypress Watershed. The importance of this watershed to the Everglades National Park (see separateentry) was a major consideration for its establishment. The name Big Cypress does not refer to the size of the trees, but to the vast number of cypress that covers about one-third of the 729,000-acre preserve. The preserve is also home to the endangered Florida panther and red-cock-aded woodpecker. The preserve was authorized on October 11, 1974.

WHAT TO SEE & DO

Bicycling, bird-watching, fishing, hiking, hunting, off-road-vehicle driving (permit required, see below), picnicking, scenic driving, wildlife viewing. Facilities: Visitor center, scenic loop roads, trails. Bookstore, picnic areas. Programs & Events: Ranger-led wet walks, biking, canoeing excursions, campfire programs (Dec-Mar). Tips & Hints: The preserve's climate is subtropical, with mild winters and hot, wet summers.

Wear long sleeves, pants, sturdy shoes, and bug repellent when hiking.

Allow at least two hours to drive the Loop Rd., an hour for the Turner

River-Birdon Rd. loop. Go to visitor center for information on closing of areas to off-road vehicles, hunting, and road conditions. Go in winter (dry season) for best hiking conditions along Florida Trail. Busiest Feb-Dec, least crowded in June and Sept.

 

Big Cypress National Preserve on the map