Big Cypress National Preserve protects over 700,000 acres of the Big Cypress Swamp in south Florida. It was established as the nation’s first national preserve thanks to local conservations, sportsmen, environmentalists, Seminoles, Miccosukees, and many others who banded together and opposed the development of the world’s largest Jetport set to happen in the area. Over tens of thousands of years, Big Cypress Swamp hosted all sorts of groups, from the Calusa and sixteenth century European explorers to the Miccosukee and Seminole. It’s 1947 establishment as the nation’s first national preserve marked the collaboration of many groups dedicated to preserving the natural swampland.Discover the rich culture and stories of this swamp, now home to both tropical and temperature plant communities and a diversity of wildlife, including the elusive Florida panther. Explore this recreational paradise with camping, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and bird watching opportunities.