Explore the most popular birding trails in Big Cypress National Preserve with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

1 month ago

We through-hiked this is 2 days in April 2017. It was exceptionally dry for that time of year and we nearly ran out of water because there was nowhere to refill. Nevertheless, it was a great hikel.

mosquitos every where. not recommend especially if your bringing kids.!

Beautiful landscape, passes through various habitats from pinelands to hardwood hammock and through cypress domes. The southern 3/4 was very dry, but the north end requires sloughing through knee deep mud and water, it is also exposed to the sun. Bring a lot of water!

We started at the Oasis Visitor Center on Tamiani Trail. Our first day, the entire trail was dry, easy to traverse and very beautiful. We left around 8:30 and arrived at 13 Mile Camp around 4:30. The following day, the trail got very muddy and wet. Although it was much more difficult to hike, it was the highlight of the trip. We left at 7:30 and arrived at I-75 around 6 pm. We took several breaks and stopped for a long breakfast along the way. Adventurous and amazing. Unfortunately (or fortunately), never saw any snakes, even after venturing off trail many times in search of cypress domes. Mosquitoes weren't an issue either. Highly recommend this hike.

Very very nice....

Pain, pain and mud. And heat, draining heat. Leave it for the snakes and gators.

Nice ride.

Nice drive. Very unique area.

We have done this drive several times. We used to spend a week near Marco Island and would go to the Everglades or across. The preserve is scenic old Florida wetland. See how many gators you can count.

paddle sports
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My 11 year and I did Turner River in December. Took us 4 1/2 hours. It was amazing. First half has several mangrove tunnels where you need to use arms to maneuver kayak. Directions easy to follow. Saw one person during whole trip. Saw several alligators, including one in front of us swimming towards us. Only downside was hard to find places to park to go to bathroom.

I came down here a few years ago. Never saw the bobcats, but deer, alligators, birds and other animals were abundant.

paddle sports
Monday, January 28, 2013

Put in on Tamiami Trail just past Turner River Road. Tight in some areas going thru tunnels in the mangroves. South to Hurdles Creek and East to spend the night on the platforms for camping. Kinda tight had company on the other half. Check tide charts for currents, kinda breezy in the winter but no bugs. 2 day trip out and back.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

My article on this trail is found on my blog at: http://travelwithnature.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/bear-island-campground-and-the-fire-prairie-trail/

We did this Trail 2 years ago starting at Alligator Alley and heading south to Oasis. The first 3 days were nothing but mud and water. My shoes came apart about 1 hour in and I took them off and did the first half of the trip barefoot.
The trail was easy enough to follow. The terrain is mostly flat but with lots of water. The deepest we encountered was mid thigh. It was our plan to make it a 4 day trip but it took 4 1/2. We use hammocks and it was the way to go.
We only took enough water to make it to the second afternoon. Just filtered water the rest. If going take something to make the water taste better. After a couple days it gets real old tasting the earthy flavor.
The northern half is mostly water and mud the southern half is pine land and open prairie. If you are looking for solitude this is the place to be. We saw two other hikers and a couple guys out on a swampbuggy and that was it until the final half mile before Oasis.
This was not an easy trip but was very rewarding. I would recommend this hike to anyone looking for some adventure. If the whole length sounds like to much, hike in from Oasis and go to 7 mile camp. Set in an area on the edge of the pines with a nice view of the cypress in front of you.
You could also do the north end from Alligator Alley south to Ivy Camp, but the southern end is a much more pleasant hike.
All in all a good time just think about whether you really need everything you carry. We found quite a bit of stuff left behind both at the campsites and just along the trail. Thing people couldn't leave at home but decided they didn't need three days in .

Thursday, November 01, 2012

We hiked in Big Cypress the area north of I-75 on the FNST Florida National Scenic Trail. We traveled North to the Red Trail approximately 2.5 miles and headed NE to merge with the Blue Trail and "Carpenter Camp" a primitive campsite. The hike was wet, some areas the water reached our knees, but for solitude, peace and wildlife viewing its the best. I suggest the winter months, less water, less Mosquitos, and less heat. The round trip loop approximately 7.5 miles.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I have two articles I wrote for the Miami Herald on this section of the trail on my blog:
I hope you enjoy them!

I've hiked sections of this trail many times. There is copious wildlife found along the trail, with plant life changing with subtle changes in elevation. This is Florida Panther country, and though I've never seen one, I've often seen their tracks on the trail. Depending on the time of year and weather the trail can be anything from dry to muddy to knee deep in water, with muddy and wet being the most common conditions. The section from I75 north is dry year-round as it runs along an old dirt road. If you're interested in hiking in Florida check out the Florida Trail Association. They have chapters in many counties with monthly meetings and many group hikes.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

We started at the the very first leg of the Florida Trail. It starts at Loop Road and heads North to the Ranger Station on Tamiami Trail Approx 7.2 miles. The Trail is easy to find and stay on. It has a Blaze of rust brown paint on the trees. Visibility of the trail or someone ahead of you varys from10 to 30 yards. There are Mile Markers on this first stage. It is illegal for Off Road Vehicles to be in this area. So it is peaceful and not torn up with multiple crossing trails to get lost on. The one photo showes how wide Loop Road is to park a car. Ranger said few problems with parked cars I would not like to leave mine there all night. You can pull GPS points off of Google Maps that are with in 20 feet of the trail. You should not need to referance your GPS as the Trail is well marked. Cell service is poor to none at Loop Road but as we hiked by MM 1 we started getting reception from I believe a ower at the Ranger station due North. This trail is knee water at times, but was dry in April . Have a great hike!

I have gone here for canoe and kayak fishing in Country Road 841. You can cacth here snook and other species that live in salty/sweet intracoastal waters. There are alligators around so becarefull.

I'm afan of drives that take you off the Interstate, and let you see REAL America. Though this drive has a touristy aspect, You get to see a part of the coast overlooked by a lot of tourists, and you get some exposure to the way Everglades life developed and evolved. An airboat ride and stone crab are essential parts of this trip.

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