Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

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
1 month 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.

backpacking
2 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
4 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
4 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.

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

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....

hiking
Monday, March 28, 2016

It wasn't too bad. You have to drive pretty far in and past the campgrounds you will see a few barricades and those are your trails. Very lush and tons of greens. Saw a few snakes and deer. Many birds.

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

paddle sports
Saturday, May 30, 2015

This is a canoe track in the Big Cypress Swamp. Gets you up close to the plant and animal life in the swamp. Bring lots of bug protective stuff, you will be bitten. It starts in a deep man-made channel (where most the alligators are), then to more shallow off-shoots where the mangrove turns to grass fields, then finally a very shallow area less than 1 foot deep until it dead ends (no outlet). There is some mangrove tunnel like effects. Go slow and enjoy. If you really want to see a lot of alligators, go at night and bring your flash light. Stay 15 feet away from alligators.
My 2nd track uses the same deep channel, but goes to a lake, then some mangrove smaller channels. You could combine the two of course.

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.

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!

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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