Big Cypress National Preserve

33100 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, 34141
(239) 695-1201
Daily, 24 hours

This expansive preserve is a good place to spend the whole day (or several days) exploring what the Everglades ecosystem and Big Cypress Swamp have to offer. Stop at either the Oasis Visitor Center or Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center for a map and in-depth information. Loop Road (CR 94) is a 24.5-mile scenic drive with roadside, deep-swamp views of wading birds, Barred Owls and the occasional Swallow-tailed Kite flyover. The Florida National Scenic Trail starts from Loop Road and will take the restless deep into the swamp (ask ahead for trail conditions!). Expansive pinelands in the center of the Preserve are home to one of the largest and southernmost populations of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers in peninsular Florida, Brown-headed Nuthatches, and Northern Bobwhites. The pinelands can be accessed from ORV trails or from the Florida Trail 5 miles north of Oasis Visitor Center. Short boardwalks along the water’s edge at the visitor center, welcome center, Kirby Storter Roadside Park and H.P. Williams Roadside Park give close views of waders, as well as warblers, woodpeckers, flycatchers and thrushes (including bluebirds). Scenic Turner River Road (CR 839) is a 20-mile drive to Bear Island along canals and through swamp and prairie where you may see Least Bittern, Sora, Snail Kite, and Marsh and Sedge Wrens. Short-tailed hawks can be seen flying over the Turner River Rd/Birdon Rd loop. Another great driving route is the 16-mile loop formed by CR 839, 837 (Wagon Wheel Rd.) and 841 (Birdon Rd.). As you drive from place to place, keep an eye skyward for wheeling Wood Storks, White Ibises and Roseate Spoonbills. Please be advised that US 41 carries high-speed traffic, therefore inattentive driving is dangerous.  In addition, short-tailed hawks can be seen flying over the Turner River Rd/Birdon Rd loop and should be mentioned for birders looking into the site. White-crowned pigeon is also possible when kayaking halfway creek.

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