Although John is a native Floridian, our research trip to South Florida became an opportunity for him to see many natural “firsts” in Florida that most people have on their life lists.
Visiting Big Cypress National Preserve
A massive ecosystem spanning more than a million acres, Big Cypress is a mosaic of sensitive tropical landscapes seen nowhere else in the United States.
As water levels begin to recede in Big Cypress National Preserve, the National Park Service has been able to reopen some of the campgrounds along the Tamiami Trail and points north.
As of June 12, 5 PM, all fire-related recreation closures to trails in Big Cypress National Preserve have been lifted. The summer rains are upon South Florida, bringing much-needed water to the swamp.
206.3 miles. Not technically part of the Florida Trail but a connector to it, the Florida portion of the Eastern Continental Trail begins at Key West and is primary a roadwalk to the southern terminus of the Florida Trail in Big Cypress. At the Alabama border, hikers following the ECT connect with a larger system of trails terminating in Cape Gaspe, Quebec.
There are many opportunities for Boy Scouts to complete hiking and backpacking merit badges and 50-miler awards along the Florida Trail; this list will start you planning your next trip.
5/14/14: 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.
Since its debut on a hand cart this January during the thru-hiker season kickoff at Oasis Visitor Center, we’ve been eagerly awaiting the permanent placement of the Florida Trail Southern Terminus marker in Big Cypress National Preserve. The marker was put in place yesterday, December 12. Said Bob DeGross, Chief of Interpretation and Public Affairs […]
38.3 miles. Winding deep into the wilds of the Big Cypress Swamp, this is the most remote section of trail in the state of Florida. The landscape is likened to the savannas of Africa, but also has pockets of rainforest-like botanical beauty enveloped in thick humidity. Hiking here means ankle-to-knee deep wading for several days.
No longer officially part of the Florida National Scenic Trail, the Loop Road to Oasis section of the Florida Trail is now blazed blue. This is where sawgrass and cypress meet, where the Everglades and Big Cypress blend.