Big Cypress Preserve Professional Review and Guide
"Because of plans in the 1970s to turn part of the Big Cypress Swamp into a giant airport, Congress in 1974 established the 900-square-mile Big Cypress National Preserve, a vital source of water for the Everglades.
Big Cypress is not really a swamp since the terrain is mostly areas of slash pine, hardwood hammocks, marshes, mangroves, and prairies both wet and dry. About a third of the preserve is covered with dwarf pond cypress. Also found here are bald cypress as much as 700 years old, their girths larger than four people can span with joined hands. Look for lots of air plants and orchids growing on many of these trees. This is also a land rich in bird and animal life. Herons and ibises, once counted according to the number of acres they covered at a single sighting, are still plentiful. This is also home to the wood stork, bald eagle, redcockaded woodpecker, and wild turkey. Alligators are common, and the watchful hiker may find a panther track or traces of the black bears that still roam here. Special Attractions: The longest hike available in one of Florida’s most pristine wilderness areas."