Big Cypress

Among the alligators

Perhaps the least-known protected area of South Florida is the Big Cypress National Preserve.

It was created in 1974 and enlarged in 1988. It now totals 729,000 acres north of U.S. 41, Tamiami Trail and west of Miami. It consists of land to the north of Everglades National Park in southwest Florida.

The preserve is a wild protected area, but some of the pre-existing human uses are still permitted. And it is a popular place for visitors and area residents to relax with numerous outdoor activities.

These include off-roading, hiking, bird watching, hunting, fishing, and even cattle grazing.

There is even some oil exploration in the area. But planning and care assure minimal impact.

As a northern extention of the protected Everglades National Park and greater Everglades region, the area is filled with South Florida wildlife such as alligators, dozens of wildbirds, snakes, deer, racoons, fish, opossums, frogs, and dozens of other small animals.

We hope you will enjoy our feature stories, multimedia, and photographs about the area and use our work to plan your next visit.

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