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Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey

#69 of 184 in Nature in Florida
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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Oscar Scherer State Park Reviews
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262 reviews
  • We visited on New years day-they were having a fun scavenger hunt on the trails. There are several trails (no hills). It is all well marked. Need to come back as we couldn't cover the park in one day....  more »
  • We came here intending to see Florida scrub jays, but saw none. However, we were not aware that the park has an active bald eagle nest. The portion of the green trail that passes near the nest was clo...  more »
  • There is a small lake and a beautiful river walk. Were there 1 h only ca, but has the whole family liked it much.
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  • A very nice, well-maintained state park! There’s several miles of trails, many of which are bike-accessible, as well as a campground and canoe launch (inner tubes and canoes are available for rental). Flush toilets and running water are available all over the park, which is also great. Access is only $5 for a car, so it’s also a great price. Wonderful place for jogging, biking, and taking kids!
  • Beautiful trails, that are easy to hike. Offers several bathrooms throughout the park. Great campgrounds are well maintained and dog friendly. A great place to canoe or kayak. Several spots including a trail are wheelchair accessible. Fun for the whole family!
  • We absolutely loved it here! We will be coming back loved we were able to leave our campground and get on the bike trail.. loved the walking paths. And just loved the campsite!
  • The campsites weren't equal in size. If they were then some had more trees cleared out then others. The bathrooms were pretty well kept up and had hot showers. The location was about 15-20 minutes from Siesta key and there were closer beaches. The pond I would never let my child swim in, especially after reading the sign about it. The staff was friendly. Night time was pretty buggy and the bug spray didn't really help.
  • Not as near as some of the other state parks we've stayed at in Florida. Also they have odd restrictions here they don't have at other parks like certain sites are pet free, I never heard of that. But still a nice park.

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