After several weeks of closure due to the Orange Blossom Fire, the Florida Trail has officially reopened north of Interstate 75 to Big Cypress Seminole Reservation. However, the I-75 rest area at MM 63 remains under construction, so access is limited to thru-hikers (with permit from Big Cypress National Preserve) and section hikers dropped off by a companion. No parking is permitted roadside.
The Orange Blossom Fire did not impact the Florida Trail route up Nobles Road to the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation. However, the Blue Loop to the west and the red and yellow cross-trails have missing blazes and will need to be assessed by a trail crew before they will be safe to traverse. In addition, park specialist Bob DeGross cautions “Hikers should be cautious of the potential for snags that may be near the trail and have the potential to drop due to winds. Hikers should also be aware that some portions of the trail may have been impacted by fire response vehicles in small stretches, but the trail is still useable.”