Everglades Exploration Network

I plan on bicycling from around Lucky's on Loop Road to Pace's Dike and from there to a primitive campsite which I would like to identify and get some info on.

On the National Park Service website (Big Cypress) there is a map which shows the various campsites, the majority of which don't have names.

There is a list of campsites on the site with information on each one but by name and I don't know what this one's name is.

The one I plan on biking to is southwest of Gum Slough (inside Big Cypress).

Any information on this campsite would be helpful in my planning.

Thanks!

Chris

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I believe that particular site is an airboat campsite. They are usually not named, but numbered instead.

I've never actually noticed that site which is considerably farther west and north than the other airboat campsites. Please let me know how the site is. As far as water, with the winter being such a wet one, you should probably be able to find some that you can filter or boil.

I checked another map I have of the Stairsteps Unit airboat trails and campsites and the site you are referring to is called 'C-16'. It is just north of Lostman's Pines.

Dallas said:

I believe that particular site is an airboat campsite. They are usually not named, but numbered instead.

I've never actually noticed that site which is considerably farther west and north than the other airboat campsites. Please let me know how the site is. As far as water, with the winter being such a wet one, you should probably be able to find some that you can filter or boil.

Dallas,

Thank you so much!

Based on your information I found an NPS map from 2014 with the C-16 identification.

The map I found has a bit more information that will help me plan this out.

By heading to Pace's Dike on my bike a couple times this year I noticed it was Really wet but I actually tried to go down the ORV trail however pedaling through up to 2 feet of water is just too much.  I'll use the other map I found to try the other trails out as an experiment.

Again, thanks!

Hello again Chris,

I just posted a reply to your potable water question before I saw this post. Like I said there, I've been thru this area pretty extensively over the years.

re: campsite

As Dallas said the campsite you're looking at is C-16, primarily used by airboats in those rare times the Stair Step unit is open. Used to be a very decent campsite on the edge of a pine island, sandy soil, typically dry. It faces to the east over a large open sawgrass prairie. Unfortunately the lights of Miami can still be seen (not outrageous but noticeable). There used to be a cypress dome about 100 yards to the west (my notes say 280 degrees) but that was long ago so definitely don't make water plans based on that.

Caveat: The last time I was there was 2011 or 2012 (how time flies).

Oh, here's a map to the Stairstep campsites.

re: biking

I would not recommend it.  Pace's Dike road is fine but the section from the end of the actual road down to gum slough is either sugar sand in dry season or shoe-sucking mud in wet season. South of gum slough is caprock hell. There is very little soil over top the limestone and the limestone is very porous. Any wheeled vehicle trip is gonna be bumpy.

The one saving grace is that Lostman's Pines has plenty of pine island area that you could possibly walk a bike through. The brush will most likely be too thick to pedal but you should be able to walk the bike along.

re: bicycling from Lucky's

I would recommend making arrangements with Lucky to leave your car with him unless you have an orv permit and can park in the locked gate area of Pace's Dike. You'd definitely want to make prior arrangements with Lucky. Make sure to tip is "retirement fund" appropriately ;-)

BTW, when do you plan on going in April?

Good luck and please keep us updated.

Chris

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