no dogs


kid friendly




nature trips

scenic driving

Welcome to the Big Cypress National Preserve Travel Planner. Here you'll find everything you need to plan your Big Cypress visit including directions, maps, photos, nearby lodging, camping, things to do, weather, and more. I hope you'll enjoy a visit to Big Cypress in the near future.

I wanted to take advantage of our lovely weather and tick this hike off of my list but I only wanted to do about 5 - 7 miles of it. I parked in the parking lot off of Alligator Alley next to the fire station. I entered through the gate and walked North along the dirt road which was not very scenic. I veered to the right with the trail and went off into the brush where it became much more scenic, it was absolutely beautiful, please see my photos. About 3 or so miles in, it became muddy. The mud became so deep that I thought I would lose one of my hiking shoes so I decided to turn back. I saw a lot of birds but no other signs of wildlife. I picked up a water bottle that I think someone is very sad about losing. Please see my photos. I would love to get it back to this person as it seems to have a lot of good memories attached to it. If you have any idea where else I can post to try to get this bottle back to the owner please let me know.

This is a must, great drive and you will see lots of wildlife. Do not pass this opportunity if your in the area! You can stop at many places and get out to take photos.

Gator hook trail is in loop road as well. West entrance.

Great to drive and bike, not hike. Lots of history, Al Capone and gangsters. I drive it a couple of times a year. Lots of places to stop and enjoy nature. Plenty of gators and snakes so heads up.

This is a short trail off of 41. The biggest concern are mosquitoes during wet season. Other than that it is Easy. Im not sure why its rated moderate.

Not necessarily difficult hiking. Spent a miserable night without tent next to the old CCC cabin on the loop. Mosquitoes had a feast.

We went NOBO on this trail to where we had a parked car at the Oasis Visitor Center. A friend drove us from the Center on Loop Road to the start of the trail. Be aware that Loop Road is a dirt road—slow going in the car and if it had not been dry season, would probably be muddy.

The entire trail is beautiful and a Florida boy’s dream. This is a very dry season, and there was no mud at all for the first five miles. Mile 5-6 was rough, because the terrain changes, you are in woods/water, and there are poor markings on the trail. Make sure you have a long sleeve shirt, because there is overgrowth at this point with thorny bushes that will hurt without skin cover.

The last three miles were also much muddier. Reaching the Visitor Center was a great relief, and in the end the trail ended up being easier than we expected.

I recommend this to anyone before they attempt the longer trail north of the Oasis Visitor Center.

We hiked on 12/28/18, the trail was dry, the bushes were a little dense and some trees down and on the way of the trail, we overnighted on mile 7.
Some panthers paw prints on dry mud, but we didn’t see any. Not many mosquitoes, just a few at night, but nothing crazy. Didn't find any water source.

Loved this hike! Went Dec 28th, didn’t experience too much water. First .5 miles is straight limestone - not sure if this is submerged in wet months but could see it being decently difficult if so. Next mile is hard forest ground, didn’t experience mud or mosquitos at all. There were two small water crossings and then around mile 1.2ish we had to cross a longer stretch. I’m not sure how dangerous this is, considering Florida is home to water moccasins (venomous snakes) and alligators. I didn’t see snakes, though one guy said he did on his way out. We saw an alligator basking in the sun ways away from the trail - didnt feel threatened at all. Turned around at mile 1.5. Very beautiful overall!

Departed canoe launch at 9:45AM and reached Gulf Coast Visitors Center at 4:15PM with a 30 minute lunch break. Roughly 12 miles and 6.5 hours. We rode the tide out. Hi 7:53AM, Lo 3:07PM. Very little bugs. Saw wading spoonbills, manatee, water moccasin, kingfisher, and much more before the river opened up. Would recommend trying to get out at Chokoloskee if it's possible to get permission at 'The Fishing Hole' or other location. It would save an 1hr of paddling. We left one vehicle at launch and left a vehicle with canoe trailer at the visitors center. Make sure to have your floatation devices and whistles and a permit just in case. We were stopped a few years ago because we all didn't have whistles and no tour permit, even though we weren't camping.

It's ok..:.miles and miles of dirt road

Gorgeous but insanely buggy. You should expect this from the Everglades though. I went in December 2016.

25 days ago

Trail was well maintained, however when we came up on a 5 foot rattlesnake it was a bit scary, almost turned back, but I'm glad we kept going because then we seen two deers, and got pretty close. Lots of air plants and palms, even a toilet on the trail lol....

ill admit I got the luckiest hike of my life this day. Once a year, volunteers clear the path for hikers and I got lucky enough to hike that same day. (11/17/2018)

The hike was well marked, path was very clear of debris. The weather was amazing. We started the hike at 6:30am and returned just a little after 1pm.

I hiked up blue to the panther camp and reversed back down blue till I got out. I did not use the red loops because having to walk down the car path on foot for so long is rough on the feet and knees. so I recommend going up blue to panther and coming out using blue as well. We saw tons of panther tracks, some I posted on here.

Was more a slog through an aquifer than a hike on a trail but it was amazing. Ankle to knee deep crystal clear water basically the entire way through so wear either crappy sneaks or aqua shoes or vibrams. Ether way, plan on drying them out when you’re back at the car. Surprisingly zero skeeters. Water makes for a challenging slosh but also helps with the heat. Keep an eye out for the yellow trail markers on the trees to keep you from getting lost.

mountain biking
5 months ago

Great ride. I parked a little further down the road and biked to gatorhook trail head and back. I didn't see any other bikers. There were some cars doing the scenic drive so be prepared for some dust. Overall very pleasant with lots a vegetation, birding and Gators.

I only hiked 2.5 miles before turning back. When you start the grass is extremely high and only room for one person, so you aren’t sure what could be there so we took it slow. The water was about a foot high in some parts, but not too bad.

trail running
6 months ago

You can run or hike on this trail for the first 4.75 Miles, I was expecting tu run the full 14.9 but vegetation took over and looks like no one has been there in a long time. 0 traffic and found snakes along the way.

Keep in mind that it is illegal (and unwise) to leave your car overnight at the trailhead along Tamiami Trail.

7 months ago

Gator Hook trail is a great find in the Big Cypress National Preserve off of Loop rd We started at 9:30 am. There were no visible blazes for the first 1/4 mile so we were hesitant about the visible water very so soon into the hike. We tired a couple of side trails but soon realized you had to get wet no mater what. There were lots of large Lubber grasshoppers around and a hive of bees feeding on a palm bloom. The exposed limestone karst makes for a interesting walking surface creating small pools containing crayfish, crabs and frogs (tadpoles). and the Cypress Knees make for a lot of tripping hazards. Half a mile in and the trail becomes tight, and a yellow blaze finally shows up. There are several ankle and knee deep channels to cross with crystal clear water. At a mile in it becomes less maintained and now becomes a stooping under, and crawling over adventure. Here the Blazes are easy to see and abundant, The last half mile of the trail is not maintained at all, we lost the blaze.and had to turn back. Im sure we would have re found the trail. On the return we stopped for a snack and soon heard thunder. the rain was chasing us out. Lots of fun, come prepared!

After this first tree canopy it gets boringly

we completed the trail today. 3.29.18 and hiked a total of 16.02 miles. Took us about 7hrs including the the breaks we took. We had also really good weather. the day was hot but there was a breeze. very little shading. bring sunblock and about 3L of water per person. there isn't any water source available. all the ponds and bodied of water have alligators. BIG ONES. there are two camping zones with picnic tables so you can enjoy lunch. overall great trail.

mountain biking
9 months ago

I have ridden my bike in the dry season and completed the trail twice. tried to ride my bike in the wet season, didn’t work way too much water after Irma. Love it out there, hope to catch a cloudy day that sun is brutal.

We had a perfect day of late dry season weather for roadside nature viewing through beautiful and variable habitats. These Seminole lands are a side of south Florida often overlooked and forgotten. The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki museum and broad walk are a must for those who want to learn more about Native American history.

10 months ago

Completed the loop on my dads b day (15.83 miles). He passed away several years ago and I wanted to commemorate his life. Took me about 6 hours with several stops to snack and rest my feet. Bring sunscreen, bug spray, and “plenty” of water. Not much shade to be had. But over the day was successful. Good luck!

Beautiful hike but not for the faint of heart or ill prepared. Don't forget hat, sun screen and plenty of water. shade is scarce along some points. You'll be in a remote area with lots of wildlife so keep alert. Saw dozens of gators, Turkey and tons of bear scat. Be careful and go slowly and enjoy!

Did this a few weeks ago and it was dry so nice not to walk through the mud. We stayed overnight in Panther camp and it was great as there was a picnic table and fire ring available.

Beautiful weather, perfect time hiking. Lovely area to experience South Florida nature. We observed alligators on the side of the road and many birds local to the area

mountain biking
Monday, January 15, 2018

Check out this YouTube video:

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Great scenic road to photograph birds and gators.

Lots of hiking to be had here. Birds and gators on the left side of the service road. The blue trail has some nice prairie views. Campsites are big and well maintained .....also had a picnic table which was surprising.

Load More