Hello, I’m Tony Clements, park manager of Oscar Scherer State Park.
On behalf of the Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Parks Service, and Oscar Scherer State Park, we are welcoming you here today. Let’s explore!
When you come to Oscar Scherer State Park, your adventure starts at the ranger station. There you can find out what we have to offer at the park. We have about fifteen miles of hiking and biking trails, 104 campsites, a freshwater lake for swimming, several picnic areas, and 1,400 miles to explore within the park. Your adventure begins at the ranger station.
In 1955, Elsa Scherer Boroughs, donated 460 acres to the state to become a park, In 1956, the park was open to the public. At that time it was only 460 acres. Then in 1991, we added another 922 acres: part of the Mary Thaxton Preserve.
As you can see, Oscar Scherer is the type of place that you can go to get away and recharge your batteries. We also have canoes and kayaks available for rent here.
Oscar Scherer State Park is located at 1843 South Tamiami Trail, within Sarasota county, right on the border of the towns Osprey and Nokomis.
I like to say it’s close to it all but a thousand miles away because when you’re in here, it definitely feels like you’re a thousand miles away from everything else.
Our first stop within the park is going to be at south creek picnic area. At this location it’s nice and shady, lots of oaks. You can come, have family reunions or picnics. This is also where our canoe rentals start.
Two of our recreational trails begin here at south creek. The first one I’d like to tell you about is the Lester Finley Trail. Lester Finley Trail was the first barrier free trail in the state of Florida. What we mean by barrier free is that people of all kinds can use this trail: whether you’re in a wheelchair, whether you’re blind or have hearing impairment, you can use this trail. It meanders aout a half a mile along the creek. It’s a nice shaded trail. You get a good chance to maybe see some osprey, king fisher, or maybe an otter swimming by.
We are out here on the Lester Finley Trail and this is one of the great stops along the trail: it’s one of our fishing docks. And right here that runs through the park about a mile and a half is an estuary called south creek. It’s great for fishing. There’s snook, red fish, and sheephead, so if you like to fish it’s a great place to come.
We also have two freshwater lakes in the park. One of them you can actually swim in.
The great recreational opportunity we have here at Oscar Scherer State Park is canoeing and kayaking. We have about a mile and a half of canoeable waters within the creek along this flat, easy estuary that runs along this park.
The wonderful things about here is that if you fell out of the canoe, all you need to do is stand up. The water is typically about four feet deep, that’s all. If you’ve never gone canoeing or kayaking before, Oscar Scherer State Park is a great place to come to start your adventure.
We offer Wednesday guided canoe trips at eight in the morning and also night paddles during the season. You can call (941)-483-5956 to get a more information.
The Florida Parks Service goes out of its way to provide access to all: to allow those in wheelchairs or to those who might have a hearing impairment, or whatever the disability is, the opportunity to get out and enjoy the great outdoors and recreate.
One of the things that we offer here at Oscar Scherer State Park is a new launch. This allows those that use wheelchairs to get down and get in and out of a kayak or canoe safely. Oscar Scherer State Park is one of the best state parks in Florida.
We’re here at south creek picnic area, nestled among these beautiful oak trees. It’s the perfect place to come relax with your family. If you’re looking to plan a family reunion, a child’s birthday party, Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey, Florida is a great place to come. We provide the pavilions to be rented, grills and you can get out on the water and canoe. There’s a lot to do here at Oscar Scherer.
Welcome to site 86 at one of the best campgrounds in the whole state of Florida. Our campground is nestled in among the oak hammocks so it’s a nice shady spot, but it still gives you the opportunity to stare up at the stars at night. If you’ve never camped before or if you are a seasonal camper, Oscar Scherer State Park is a perfect place to come. We provide you with a grill, a picnic table, water and electricity: all you need to provide is a good time. I’ll guarantee you’ll have one here at Oscar Scherer State Park.
The nature center is typically manned by volunteers throughout the year, and it’s open typically from 9AM-3PM every day. So if you come in here you can learn a little bit about the park’s history. You can also learn about all of the trails that we have in the parks, and you can also learn about the activities that we have to offer here.
Oscar Scherer State Park is in the process of updating its nature center. One of the things we like to showcase here at the park is how time has changed the park. Back in the 60’s, the park didn’t have any development around it, but now you come all the way back to the picture of 2007, and we’re almost completely surrounded by development, so it’s really important that we do what we can to protect those green spaces and corridors to connect the park to other green spaces within Sarasota county.
Lake Osprey picnic area also showcases the only freshwater swimming lake in Sarasota county. So if there is red tide at the beach, Oscar Scherer State Park is a perfect place to come and get your feet wet and take the kids swimming in our lake. It’s about a five acre swimming lake. We’ve got a swimming area and a beach area; and we’re also in the process of restoring some of the native habitat around its boundaries.
The Legacy Trail runs right through Oscar Scherer State Park. The Legacy Trail goes all the way from Venice, Florida, all the way to Sarasota, Florida. And Oscar Scherer State Park is right in the middle in Osprey, Florida. If you enjoy a leisurely bike ride or walking a trail, the Legacy Trail is the perfect place to do it. Come on out and try it for yourself: you’ll enjoy it.
We also have a great youth camp here at Oscar Scherer State Park. In fact, we just moved it from where we were to our new location which is nice and shady and oaky, so it’s a perfect place to bring a church group or a volunteer group, scout group out to enjoy a weekend. There’s over 1400 acres here at Oscar Scherer State Park to explore. Come on out and check it out. You’ll enjoy your day.
When you’re looking for the very best in Florida hiking, biking, canoeing, recreation camping, Oscar Scherer State Park, located in Osprey, Florida is your best bet.
Thank you for riding along with us today and we hope to see you back out here at Oscar Scherer State Park in Sarasota county very soon. We’ll see you next time.