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.

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
2 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
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.

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

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.

mountain biking
6 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.

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.

mountain biking
9 months ago

Check out this YouTube video:
https://youtu.be/ctesq4nDvv4

9 months ago

Great scenic road to photograph birds and gators.

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.

backpacking
9 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....

scenic driving
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Of all the things I love, woods, mountains, evergreens, this was not any of them. I was surprised to see so many people on bicycles..

scenic driving
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Out in the Big Cypress. Quite an interesting ride.

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.

scenic driving
Friday, June 14, 2013

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

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