Big Cypress National Preserve

Big Cypress National Preserve

Nature & Wildlife Areas • Parks
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9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
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About
Land of biological diversity, measuring 729,000 acres, combines a mix of pines, hardwoods, prairies and mangrove forests along with a variety of wildlife including White-tailed deer and Florida panther.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Tours & experiences
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Top ways to experience Big Cypress National Preserve and nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
551 reviews
Excellent
382
Very good
142
Average
19
Poor
6
Terrible
2

jane
New York152 contributions
Apr 2022
We tried to begin our visit by going to the Oasis Visitor Center, but unfortunately there was a sign on the door saying it was closed for a couple weeks even though the website said it was open. There is a boardwalk along a canal in front of the building where we did see quite a few gators of all sizes. Anyway, we backtracked and drove the Loop Road, which was fabulous. Driving through the woods we saw so much wildlife, and had several opportunities to slow down and pull over to lean out the window and get pictures. It's a gravel road so you can't drive too fast, so it will take a decent amount of time to travel the route, but definitely worth it.
Written May 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Teardrop Trailer Traveler
United States712 contributions
Dec 2021
Big Cypress National Preserve is large and fairly remote. I started my visit at the Oasis Visitor Center. I only stopped in the building long enough to stamp my National Park passport book, as I arrived much later than I wanted and the visitor center was about to close. There was a short boardwalk by the visitor center, so I walked that. It runs along a little body of water, which was filled with fish. I also saw several alligators in the water.

After leaving the visitor center, I drove down the road to a nearby trail, with another boardwalk. I did a portion of the trail. The boardwalk begins as grassland, but the enters the cypress trees for which the preserve is named.

I would have liked to have gone further on the trail and to have driven the loop road back, but it was getting dark. I did find the portion of the trail that I walked quiet lovely and it was a great spot for photography. Big Cypress was definitely worth the drive.
Written July 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Patti S
Hollywood, FL34 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
My husband and I decided to visit Big Cypress Preserve in our Class B RV.
We did not have reservations to camp, but were lucky enough to find space at the campground in the Preserve. ( there are several) Big Cypress has so much to offer.
There are many boardwalks ( most all are handicapped accessible or have paved paths) to view wildlife, which was plentiful on our visit. Alligators, beautiful birds, a rattlesnake and abundant flora and fauna.
There are many trails you can hike or bike.
There is a tram ride (fee) at the Shark Valley visitor center. The ride is 2 hours long
that is narrated by very knowledgeable rangers, with tons of wildlife to see.
Arrive at the visitor center early, the parking lot fills up fast. You can also rent bikes here.
We drove on many of the gravel park roads.
Some are washboard, so travel is slow but the sites are worth it.
Insects were not a problem during the day, but a dawn and dusk were plentiful. Bring your deet!
If you plan to camp, fuel up and bring your food, ice and LOCAL firewood with you. There is very little to offer inside the Preserve except snacks, and there are not many stores (we saw none)or restaurants and the ones there are, are at least a 30-45 minute drive and some are only open for breakfast and lunch.
We spent 4 days here and plan to come back. There is so much we did not see and do.
Don’t miss this gem!
If you are 62 or older, buy the Senior Pass. It is $80.00 for a LIFETIME pass. You can use it at any National Park, Preserve etc. and you get various discounts on excursions and half off camping.
Written February 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

The Pidge
Wayne, NJ493 contributions
Nov 2021
Big Cypress is comprised of quite a bit, and therefore it can be enjoyed whether one has little or a lot of time. I spent time on the boardwalks at the Nathaniel P. Reed and Oasis Visitor Centers, strolling the elevated viewing platforms and getting as close as I ever hope to get to gators on the latter (it was amazing seeing one floating down the waterway mere feet from where I was standing). I also spent some time on the longer boardwalk at the Kirby Storter Roadside Park in between the two (where I felt a sense of beautiful isolation unlike any I've ever experienced) and enjoyed one of the many scenic drives off Tamiami Trail. Everything is free- an added bonus.
Written December 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AmosRedux
Oshkosh, WI537 contributions
Jan 2020
We chose the Big Cypress Biking Trip which took place on the Fire Prairie Trail. It lasted two and one-half hours and covered five miles. We mostly learned about the flora in the forest and prairie in this part of the Preserve. We learned how a slight change in elevation means different plants and trees. We did see butterflies and some birds. Across from the trailhead, we saw alligators and more birds in a canal. My wife and I were the only ones who signed up for this tour so we had a private tour from the ranger and her two volunteer helpers. The fee is $40.00 if you bring your own bike and $60.00 if you use theirs. We found this tour well worth our money and time. After the tour, we biked on our own on Turner River Road.
Written January 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Joy E
Largo, FL589 contributions
Mar 2020 • Couples
Plan a couple of hours to take it small in. We only did the board walk. Would be nice to try the hike, but we leave it for next time. The ranger program was canceled, but the inside rangers are very informative. The board walk is lovely to see the gators, fish and birds up close. Also, this is a place where painters paint the wildlife!
Written March 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

allthegirls2014
Naples, FL81 contributions
Apr 2021
Just before the rainy season started, I went to check out the Preserve, specifically to drive on the Loop Road, before it became too wet. It was a fabulous afternoon. I stopped to chat with the ranger at the Welcome Center just east of Carniestown for tips and great maps. (It's important to have paper maps, as there is limited cell service within the Preserve) and asked where the gators were hanging out. I continued east on 41, stopped at the Kirby Storter Roadside Park for a nice boardwalk (herons, egrets, turtles) and then moved on to Loop road. The road is not paved except at the far northeastern end. But the drive was amazing. Alligators were everywhere, visible from the car (or you could sneak out to snap a pictures). Lots of birds: egrets, hawks, roseate spoonbills, herons. You can just pull over if you see something interesting. I was driving my sedan, but it would have been better in a taller vehicle. And afterwards, I did have to wash my car, as it definitely looked like I had been off-roading. Kept my phone charged and brought water and snacks. Wonderful drive, fabulous pictures. Highly recommend.
Written April 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Janie S
Las Vegas, NV32 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
The preserve itself is beautiful and amazing. I could have spent the whole day there. Read the self guided brochure before you walk it if you aren’t taking a guided tour. It will give you some tips you won’t otherwise know. The downside is the people who aren’t respectful. There is to be no jogging, power walking, cell phone conversations or loud talking. We encountered this behavior all the way through the preserve. So the chances of seeing wildlife are greatly diminished.
Written January 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

404HappyTraveller
Saskatchewan, Canada427 contributions
Jan 2020
We stopped as we drove along on our way to Everglades City and points beyond. It was very informative, with well done displays and easy to follow information. There is a great boardwalk just outside the front doors that you can walk along and view all sorts of birds and fish jumping as they feed, as well as quite a number of alligators basking in the sunshine. It’s a really good way to spend an hour or so, stretch your legs and stop in as you travel by.
Written January 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

tinaNtravel
San Jose, CA1,752 contributions
Apr 2022
Well worth the visit. According to the ranger recommendation, there are 4 major stops along the main road: Nathaniel P. Reed Visitor Center, with a small 400 foot boardwalk, H.P. Williams Roadside Park with an 800 foot boardwalk, Kirby Storter Roadside Park with an approx. mile boardwalk, and Oasis Visitor Center with an approx. 800 foot boardwalk. We saw the most gators at the Oasis Visitor Center and second, H.P. Williams. The mile long walk is well worth it, as you get a great view of the Cypress trees and a lot of interesting scenery, and we also saw some gators at the end.
Written May 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Big Cypress National Preserve (Ochopee) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Big Cypress National Preserve

Big Cypress National Preserve is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Big Cypress National Preserve tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 7 Big Cypress National Preserve tours on Tripadvisor