News / Parks & Forests

Some areas of Gulf Islands National Seashore reopen; Some areas of Everglades National Park remain closed

Updated Wednesday, Oct. 11

National parks in the Panhandle

Flooding in the Okaloosa Area.

Flooding in the Okaloosa Area.

Two feet of sand on Fort Pickens Road.

Route 399 through the Santa Rosa area of Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Gulf Islands National Seashore in FloridaFort Pickens and Santa Rosa Areas and all Mississippi islands remain closed to all visitors due to Hurricane Nate impacts.

The Perdido Key Area has reopened.

Fort Barrancas, Naval Live Oaks, and Okaloosa Areas are also open. Restrooms and pavilions will be open, and entrance fees will be required for visitors to the area.

Created in 1971, the national seashore stretches 160 miles along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida and Mississippi, and includes barrier islands, maritime forests, historic forts, bayous, and marine habitat. This update applies only to areas in Florida.

Fort Pickens Campground — Fort Pickens Campground remains closed.

Apalachicola National Forest — Silvers Lake is closed. All campgrounds on the Apalachicola are open; Camping is free for Irma evacuees.

National parks elsewhere in Florida

Big Cypress National Preserve — Big Cypress National Preserve’s Oasis Visitor Center is open 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.

Midway, Monument, and Burns Lake Campgrounds are open.

The Loop Road is closed.

The Swamp Welcome Center remains closed at this time. Repairs are underway.

The Stairsteps Unit of Big Cypress National Preserve remains closed to all recreational access, including hunting, until water levels go down. Other backcountry areas are open.

Visitors to the preserve should expect conditions to include high water levels, downed trees, and ongoing restoration efforts. Recreational users should be prepared to turn around.

Landowners may continue to access private property and should expect downed trees along trails.

Biscayne National Park, Homestead  Park water are open, but boaters need to be alert for debris they may encounter on the waters around South Florida.

The Dante Fascell Visitor Center and Convoy Point are open. ​Park islands including Boca Chita, Elliott and Adams Keys are open.

Everglades City Visitor Center after Irma

Everglades National Park

The Homestead visitor entrance is open to Flamingo. There are no facilities available at this time. Portable rest rooms are available.

Boats may now be launched at the Flamingo ramps.

Night closures remain in place. The roadway is open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Nighttime closure is at West Lake. Gas and food services are not available.

The Flamingo Campground is closed. Utility crews continue to stabilize water treatment facilities in Flamingo. Construction crews continue to stabilize facilities in Flamingo.  Saw crews are removing damaged limbs and trees from Flamingo campground.

Shark Valley remains closed due to high water and the area will be monitored for future mitigations if needed to protect infrastructure. This is the highest water the park has seen in 86 years.

Gulf Coast facilities remain closed until further notice, including the Everglades City Visitor Center. Marine waters are open, but boaters are urged to exercise caution.

Dry Tortugas National Park, a cluster of seven islands about 70 miles west of Key West has re-opened. Most areas of the park, including the campground, are open. Ferry service has resumed.

Ocala National Forest– The following recreation areas in Ocala National Forest have reopened following cleanup after Hurricane Irma:

Campground reservations are being accepted on these days: Oct. 4 at the Alexander Springs Recreation Area, Sept. 29 at the Salt Springs Recreation Area, Oct. 4 for the Clearwater Lake Recreation Area.

Juniper Springs Campground remains closed, but the recreation area has reopened for swimming and trails. Kayak launches are closed until further notice.

Other areas of the forest remain closed as cleanup efforts continue.


Osceola National Forest –All areas on the Osceola National Forest are now open, including the Ocean Pond Campground but not Hog Pen Landing. Camping is free for those displaced by Hurricane Irma.

Canaveral National Seashore, Titusville and New Smyrna Beach — Apollo Beach and Playalinda Beach have re-opened. Playalinda parking area #5 and boardwalk #5 are closed .

Eddy Creek fishing dock is closed. The Seminole Rest Historic Sites remain closed. Backcountry camping remains closed.

Fort Matanzas National Monument: Beach and Island areas of the park are open to the public. Visitor Center area of the park remains closed pending removal of hazardous limbs and trees. The fort will remain inaccessible to the public until repairs to ferry boats can be completed.

Fort Matanzas National Monument:  Alerts | News | Facebook | Twitter

Cumberland Island National Seashore (Georgia): The Cumberland Island Mainland Museum is open. The visitor center is closed. Clearing operations have been completed.

Camping reservations are cancelled through November 1. The managed hunt that was scheduled for October 28th and 29th is cancelled.

For status on other federal sites in Florida:

For status updates on Florida State Parks and Forests, go to: After Irma: Florida State Parks, Forests and Wildlife Management Areas.

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  1. Pingback: Post-Irma: Status of Florida State Parks, forests and wildlife areas | Florida Rambler

  2. Michael Hom says:

    Hello Bob, any updates on Ocala National Forest? I have a backpacking planned next month. Thank you for your help

  3. gary burt says:

    dear bob, can you tell me when you expect the 239 area code to become active again. i have family down that way and cannot reach?

    • Hi Gary,

      I doubt that the area code itself is inactive, although there could be a lot of reasons you can’t get through to Southwest Florida. They got hit pretty hard. Cell towers are down and power is still out in some areas. You can also be sure that there is an overwhelming crush of calls just like yours that are testing the limits of the system. I would hope priority is given to calls going out and within the area code over those coming into the zone. Don’t take offense, but it would probably be best not to contribute to the chaos until things settle down. Folks over there have critical needs.

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