Explore the most popular hiking 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.

hiking
12 days 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.

backpacking
3 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

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.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a great trail. We hit only a few patches of mud and one small bit of about an in deep standing water that we had to cross; otherwise the trail was dry and maintained, with clearly marked blaze and signs. We saw about 4 black racer snakes, at least 10 alligators sunning themselves once the clouds cleared, plenty of birds, wild flowers, and butterflies, and only about 4 other people. A few downed trees are still crossing the trail, but it would be easy to carry a mountain bike over them. I would happily hike, camp, trail run, or mountain bike here so long as it hadn't recently rained. But it got hot when the sun came out and there was nowhere to refill water, so bring plenty with you. Also, there is plenty of parking in the Collier County Rest Stop -- the entrance to the trail is just off the parking lot on the North side of I-75.

backpacking
5 months 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.

backpacking
Tuesday, March 07, 2017

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!

backpacking
Monday, March 06, 2017

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....

Fantastic

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

hiking
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/

hiking
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.

hiking
Thursday, July 19, 2012

I have two articles I wrote for the Miami Herald on this section of the trail on my blog:
http://travelwithnature.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/away-from-the-beaches-lies-a-different-side-of-florida-and-its-quite-a-hike/
http://travelwithnature.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/florida-trail-offers-cyclists-a-wild-ride-through-big-cypress/
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.

hiking
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!

hiking
5 months ago

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