Loop Rd Big Cypress National Preserve, Ochopee, FL 34141
Loop Road is a 24-mile-long two-lane road, that parallels the south side of Tamiami Trail through the Everglades, in the middle of South Florida’s undeveloped center. There are signs on Tamiami Trail from the east and the west for the entrance.
Tamiami Trail is certainly a lot more scenic than Alligator Alley although not as direct. It bisects the state, with the southern part of big Cypress National preserve to the north and on the south, we have Everglades National Park. Tamiami Trail cuts across Florida, from Miami all the way over to Naples and then swings up on its way to Tampa hence the name Tamiami.
The eastern seven miles are paved and after that, it is gravel or dirt. In the late summer through the end of the year, parts of the road can be under water 3 to 4 inches. In the summer it is dry and dusty going, you will have to wash your car when you get home.
My son and I went in December, the road has areas, where you can pull off to the side. Some places you can see a large expanse and others it is just swampy water. The one thing you will see for sure, is alligators there is lots of alligators right off the side of the road in the water pools.
Sometimes they are on the road alongside the shoulder. Do not be tempted to walk up to an alligator, these guys do not have a lot of fear people since they been exposed to them probably their entire lives, maybe the alligators having a bad day in which case you will too.
Here are some images of the landscape
You can expect in December to see these birds and an occasional turtle.
We went twice, my son and I, the first time we went as mentioned was in December, we saw some birds and reptiles as we drove along.
The second trip was in the beginning of July, and it had been raining all throughout June yet the roads were dry and the very very dusty, my car had at least ¼ inch dust just caked on in the wheel wells.
Unfortunately, there was absolutely nothing to see except alligators and very very very few birds.
There were some exceptionally large grasshoppers, when I say large, I mean probably five or six inches long, on the road. That was sort of odd, we saw no birds swopping down for lunch. Other than that, there was no fauna or insects other than the occasional horsefly that would land on your windshield. If you are going to go, I suggest strongly that you probably would be very well put to go between October and December. Oh, I should also mention NOT as hot. One point of interest is that when driving (coming from the east) on Tamiami Trail, before you get there is the famous Clyde Butcher gallery. Mr. Butcher who has made a name for himself and, a post career out of wading into the swamps off Tamiami Trail with a large-format camera on a tripod and shooting black-and-white film. It is worth the stop since you are there, so might as well take advantage.