Photo Essay

Big Cypress National Preserve

Big Cypress Reflections

Big Cypress National Preserve, located on the northern edge of the Everglades, was created in 1974 after plans were made to expand the Miami airport into the Big Cypress watershed. Because it is not a national park, native Americans and other residents are allowed to maintain residences there and to use the land for numerous purposes, including hunting and travel by off-road vehicles.

The 24-mile scenic loop, which begins at Monroe Station on the north side of the Tamiami Trail, is actually a causeway through the swamp area, with numerous openings through which fish and other wildlife pass. One readily sees alligators and other wildlife in or around the amazingly clear water flowing through those openings. Although it takes a while to travel the unpaved road, the photo opportunities make it worthwhile to stop frequently and enjoy the beauty of the preserve.

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