Florida Trail Association

Volunteer Work Party

February 4-9, 2021

Big Cypress 7 Mile Camp Trail Maintenance (Backcountry)
Big Cypress Chapter

Join the Big Cypress Chapter in maintaining the Florida Trail in Big Cypress National Preserve!

Big Cypress National Preserve is often noted as the most remote wilderness hike on the Florida Trail. Get your feet wet while you trek through cypress groves in search of rare ghost orchids, migratory bird populations or even a glimpse of the endangered Florida panther.

This event is a free volunteer opportunity. Join our crew to perform trail maintenance on the Florida Trail! This special Volunteer Work Party will introduce you to one of Florida’s most remote wilderness experiences. 

We will begin at 7 Mile Camp and will be maintaining the trail from north and south of the camp. Day one will be spent being transported by swamp buggy to the campsite but all volunteers should be prepared to hike in if necessary.

Immerse yourself in the Everglades and see the trail in a whole new light!

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the FTA team and our partners have dedicated extensive time and care into creating new and safe operating procedures for our FTA events and volunteer work parties. With these COVID-19 Operating Procedures in place, our focus is to minimize all participants’ possible exposure to the virus as much as possible. The comfort and safety of our FTA community members is of utmost priority to us.

Per the FTA Covid-19 protocols we will break into crews of no more than 5 members each day, working on different sections of the trail. Camping will also be broken up into teams of no more than 5 members with one centralized kitchen cooking for the group. Meals will be served and taken back to each camp. Masks will be utilized when appropriate and sanitation guidelines will be strictly adhered to.

Please Note: This is a remote, backcountry experience. The trail crew will be camped in a primitive location near 7 Mile Camp. Volunteers must have backcountry camping experience.

**Due to limited volunteer spots for this work party, please complete this Volunteer Interest Form if you would like to participate in this work party. Selected volunteers will be notified by December 1st.

Immerse yourself in the Everglades and see the trail in a whole new light!

Volunteers will meet at the Oasis Visitors Center on Feb 4th and be shuttled out to 7 Mile Camp on swamp buggies the following morning. During this Volunteer Work Party, volunteers will stay near 7 Mile Camp in a remote section of Big Cypress. We will return to Oasis Visitor Center on swamp buggies by the late afternoon on the 10th. Camping at Oasis is available on Feb 4th & 9th. 

Name: Oasis Visitors Center (Camping @ Oasis is available on Feb 4 & 9)

Address: 52105 Tamiami Trail E
Ochopee State: FL Zip code: 34141
County: Miami-Dade County

Type: Back-country (Remote Wilderness)

Primitive, Back-Country Camping

Bathroom: Primitive, WAG toilets
Shower: Solar showers
Potable Water: Yes (FTA will provide)
Power: No

RV Hookups: No

Type of work: Trail Maintenance

Section of the FNST: Florida National Scenic Trail, Big Cypress National Preserve
Maintenance Unit: 7 Mile Camp

Total Hiking Miles Per Day: 5 Miles
Activity Level: Difficult to Strenuous
Start Time: @ 8:00 AM
End Time: approx. 4:00 PM

Minimum Age: 18 years old
Youth Allowed (Under 18): No
Maximum number of volunteers: 12
Physical Difficulty: Difficult to strenuous activities. Volunteers will be assigned tasks based on their individual comfort level and technical proficiency.

Restrictions: Only US Forest Service certified sawyers will be allowed to operate chainsaws on the Florida Trail.

When registering, volunteers may be asked about known medical conditions or allergy concerns. This information is treated as confidential information, and is only shared with Crew Leaders and the Florida Trail Association Staff. Please disclose all known medical and allergy information. This information enables crew leaders and staff to respond appropriately to medical emergencies. Medical or allergy conditions will not disqualify you from participating in a Volunteer Work Party.