Big Cypress National Preserve
The freshwaters of the Big Cypress Swamp, essential to the health of the neighboring Everglades, support the rich marine estuaries along Florida's southwest coast. Protecting over 720,000 acres of this vast swamp, Big Cypress National Preserve contains a mixture of tropical and temperate plant communities that are home to a diversity of wildlife, including the elusive Florida panther.
Visitors will find a recreational paradise with camping, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, OHV trails, hunting and birdwatching opportunities. Those passing through may be enticed to linger in this remnant of wild Florida to search for evidence of the elusive Florida panther or to watch an endangered woodstork feeding along a roadside canal.
There are two visitor centers within the Preserve. Both are open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed on December 25.
Seasonality / Weather
South Florida experiences two main seasons - the rainy season from May to October, and dry season from November through April. The rainy season coincides with the tropical hurricane season. This time of year can be hot, muggy and buggy. Daily rains typically occur in the afternoon. For the prepared it is a good time to see dramatic storms and beautiful flowering plants. The dry season has cool, dry days that tend to be breezy.
Big Cypress National Preserve is located in Southwest Florida between the cities of Miami and Naples. Interstate 75 (Alligator Alley) and U.S. Highway 41 (Tamiami Trail) are the main roads that traverse the site. Visitor facilities and most activities originate from the Tamiami Trail.
The Oasis Visitor Center is located 52105 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, FL 34141. The facility is midway between Miami and Naples along the Tamiami Trail.
The Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center is an interagency center for all public lands within the Big Cypress Swamp. It is located at 33000 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, FL 34141. The center is approximately 5 miles east of State Road 29 on the Tamiami Trail.
Preserve Headquarters is located near Naples and Everglades City, along U. S. 41, 5 miles east of the State Road 29 intersection.
Due to the distance from major urban areas, there is no public transportation to the Preserve.