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Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey

#71 of 183 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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248 reviews
  • Their is a ton of activities to do at Oscar Scherer State Park. My wife and I did some canoeing on South Creek. It was beautiful, peaceful and well shaded. Canoeing was VERY AFFORDABLE compared to my ...  more »
  • Lot's to do: hike, kayak, wildlife viewing, clean bathrooms rangers very courteous and knowledgeable and clean park. This is an example of what a State (and Federal) parks typify and let's hope these ...  more »
  • We stayed here so that we would be near all of the beautiful beaches & it was the perfect location! We were close to the Venice beaches, including Caspersan Beach (our favorite) and the Sarasota area ...  more »
  • This place was just about perfect. Only trouble is you better make reservations. We got lucky and were able to get a spot. Talking to the campers around us we found out they had made there reservations a year in advance. Very clean restrooms, nice shady campsites with picnic tables, fire ring, cloths line poles, ice and firewood available at park entrance. The staff was friendly and very helpful. Some of the sites back up to the canal, so you can launch your kayak or canoe right at your site. There are also plenty of hiking trails on the property. The Legacy Trail bike path is accessible at the back of the park. This is a old rail bed that has been paved and gives you the ability to travel to Sarasota or Venice. We spent 3 days here and would have stayed a week if time would have allowed us to. Beach was about a 30 min bike ride from campground. Definitely would recommend staying here!
  • Stayed here as camp hosts for almost 6 months and had a wonderful time exploring the trails and volunteering. The scenery was beautiful everyday. My kids loved being out side and playing in the lake. Wonderful staff who really care about their jobs and the people who visit the park. Couldn't have asked for a better place to call home for our short stay in the area.
  • 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 big spray didn't really help.
  • Our favorite (local) state campground. Wi-Fi in the clubhouse near the spring fed lake with a very nice swimming area. Trails are great for walking or biking and the sites are very private. Some are even on the creek so set your fishing pole in and have a great time. Bathrooms and showers are very clean and the people are very nice and friendly.
  • The park has hiking, swimming (small lake), Kyaking & Canoeing. The camp sites have electricity, water and fire pit. It is 15 minute to the beach. They also offer discounts for seniors.

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