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Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey

Categories: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.2/5 based on 200+ reviews on the web
Oscar Scherer State Park is a Florida State Park located between Sarasota and Venice, near Osprey, amidst the heavily developed southwest Florida coast. The address is 1843 South Tamiami Trail. There are more than 130,000 visitors a year.HistoryThe park's genesis was in 1955, when Elsa Scherer Burrows, owner of the 462acre South Creek Ranch, died. Her will left the ranch to the state to form a park. It was to be dedicated to the memory of her father, Oscar Scherer, the developer of a shoe leather dyeing process in 1872. A year later, the park was ready and opened to visitors.Thirty years after that, realtor and environmentalist Jon Thaxton started work to protect the neighboring Florida scrub jay territory. In 1992 this resulted in 922acre being added from the adjacent Palmer Ranch that had been among the holdings of Bertha Honoré Palmer, in large part due to the Nature Conservancy, public support, and the use of Preservation 2000 funds, expanding the park's size to 1384acre.In September 2008, in recognition of National Public Lands Day, Lee Wetherington, a local developer and long-time park supporter, donated an additional 16.6acre of land to the park, including the buffer property adjacent to the Willowbend subdivision (a Wetherington development), bringing the total park size to 1400acre.
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  • We took the opportunity this past "winter" to pack a picnic basket and ventured to this park for some excellent photographic captures. Although there are a lot of activities available, we enjoy quiet ...  read more »
  • We had a beautiful day to relax here we were receiving from the Park Rangers who gave us a map and a few useful tips. At the Ranger Station, you can borrow kayak is to make a small tour on the creek or you simply hike and enjoy nature, which we found birds or other animals to discover mega exciting animal tracks and to pursue them. Also at the crossing slightly larger water bodies has been a little adrenaline all-in-all very nice Park a visit worthwhile.
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  • Great state park in Venice, FL. Great location with friendly staff. Wish all the sites had 50amp. Some of the sites have very soft dust on the surface. A heavy RV might sink in it. It happened to me. ...  read more »
  • There is a visitor center in the park with videos of the park and some interpretive displays and a small lake where you can swim. The ranger was very helpful and gave us directions to Nokomis Beach which we visited later. The visitor center has many reference books on the birds that can be seen here. There were several family friendly displays on the wildlife to be found in the park. Also some interactive hands-on displays that kids of any age would enjoy. You can hike several trails along South Creek. My favorite is Lester Finley Trail, which runs along the banks of South Creek. It is barrier free (great for strollers) and has 2 butterfly gardens, lots of shade, several benches to rest and 5 audio boxes the learn about the park. The wonderful campground is situated across a narrow bridge over South Creek, with half the sites backing up to the creek and shaded by lots of trees. You can launch your kayak or canoe right from your camp site. The campsites have lots of privacy with shrubs and trees between each site. The South picnic area has a shaded playground, restrooms and plenty of parking. Great place to take the kids for an afternoon. Kayak rentals available, and this is where you pick them up. Birdwatchers will enjoy the amazing Florida Scrub Jays. These blue birds are very sociable. Sometimes they even come land on your hands or arms. Kids really enjoy watching these friendly little birds.
  • It's a great little Park with easy but fairly diverse trails from .5mi-5.mi. The public camping offers more privacy per site than most public campgrounds, and there good activitys for kids. It's within a ten minute drive to the beaches, and offers canoe/kayak rentals and multiple launches.
  • This park is fantastic. There's wonderful biking, walking, canoeing, camping, and education! I enjoy coming here on days off and even spend time volunteering for various activities and special events here. Highly recommended place to visit when in this sleepy corner of Florida!
  • Sites are really close together with hardly any privacy ,the sites are very small and have no shade , even thought sites are advertise for tent/rv and partially shaded . Some sites are shown as water sided, the water cannot be seen from any of the camping site. . Hammocks and any kind of ropes are prohibited. No trash cans anywhere!! No even near bathroom areas. Does not have even a small concession shop like most camping parks. Staff not very friendly. if you are looking for some quiet time do not go here. Came here because of the good reviews and was extremely disappointed. I do not recommend this place to anyone.
  • Love It! We went to nature center and had Joel give kids a very nice crafts and explained of some fossils and Florida wild life. Junior Ranger Program is great
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