View Map

Overview

The Big Cypress Swamp covers more than a million acres and is often mistaken for the Everglades, its more-famous neighbor. But Big Cypress is Florida’s biggest swamp forest, protected by a patchwork of public lands that stretch from the outskirts of Naples past Everglades City along the edge of Everglades National Park to a spot along the Tamiami Trail known as Forty Mile Bend. The largest of these is Big Cypress National Preserve, established in 1974 to protect the land while permitting traditional uses, such as hunting and the use of airboats and swamp buggies. This vast watery wilderness differs from the Everglades by being heavily ...

The Big Cypress Swamp covers more than a million acres and is often mistaken for the Everglades, its more-famous neighbor. But Big Cypress is Florida’s biggest swamp forest, protected by a patchwork of public lands that stretch from the outskirts of Naples past Everglades City along the edge of Everglades National Park to a spot along the Tamiami Trail known as Forty Mile Bend. The largest of these is Big Cypress National Preserve, established in 1974 to protect the land while permitting traditional uses, such as hunting and the use of airboats and swamp buggies. This vast watery wilderness differs from the Everglades by being heavily forested but nevertheless wet, fed by a sheet flow of rainfall slipping south from the Okaloacoochee Slough. It is America’s Amazon, with the greatest diversity of botanical species in the nation, lush with tropical trees, ferns, colorful bromeliads, and rare orchids. While a drive along the scenic Tamiami Trail lets you sample this amazing landscape from your car, the best way to experience it is by immersion – in the literal sense – on a wade through the swamp to see the elusive ghost orchid. Base your adventure out of historic Everglades City, a fishing village surrounded by mangrove forests.

Sandra Friend
About the Expert

Sandra Friend has written 12 books about Florida, including the Explorer's Guide (Countryman Press) series to Florida.

view full overview

Sandra Friend for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring, summer, and fall