Big Cypress National Preserve encompasses a total area of about 720,000 acres of land that is spread through three different counties in the state of Florida (Collier, Monroe, and Miami-Dade counties). The park is roughly located mid-way between Miami and Naples and extends from Everglades National Park northward to seven miles north of Interstate 75.
Several routes can be used to access the national preserve including using US 41 and Highway 29 that runs in a north to south direction along the western boundary of the park. The protected land was established on October 11, 1974, and is managed by the National Park Service. Several unique features make the Big Cypress National Preserve an exciting place to visit.
First, the preserve is the ancestral home of the Miccosukee and Seminole Indians and therefore has some cultural and historical significance. Secondly, the preserve is also abounded by several plants and animal species that are not only typical in Florida’s subtropical topography and climate, but that are also specific to the Everglades. Third, the preserve protects the fresh water found in the Big Cypress Swamp (that it shares a name with).
This fresh water is not only useful for the life and sustenance of a lot of the biota in the Everglades, but it also supports rich marine estuaries on Florida's southwest coast. Besides these unique features, the preserve is also a favorite place for visitors to enjoy recreational activities like hiking, camping, fishing, canoeing, hunting, bird-watching, bicycling, wildlife viewing, and off-road vehicle use.
Visitors to Big Cypress National Preserve can bring their dogs to enjoy the preserve but have to abide by the parks strict rules. Basically, all dogs have to be leashed and have to be kept away from specific areas of the preserve to protect the habitat, wildlife, and other visitors.