Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

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.

trail running
3 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.

hiking
4 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.

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.

backpacking
7 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!

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.

hiking
9 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.

scenic driving
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Did I ever mention that I am not into reptiles. But I must admit that the Seminole Tribe was interesting.

scenic driving
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

You really get the feeling of the everglades on this road without having to get out in it.

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/

scenic driving
Sunday, October 17, 2010

This is the best way to see the everglades short of a ride on an air-boat. The swamp comes right up to the road in most areas, and the Seminole Tribe has a great glimpse into Native American culture in Florida including alligator wrestling, crafts, food, etc.

hiking
8 months ago

scenic driving
Sunday, March 05, 2017

hiking
Sunday, August 09, 2015