Canoes and kayaks can be rented. This three-acre freshwater lake has a sandy beach front and is located at the Lake Osprey Picnic Area. Visitors will take a picture of the clue they locate. Bicycling The park offers several marked trails with a combined length of approximately 15 miles. From I-75 South take exit 35B.For more information, contact: Oscar Scherer State Park. Find Out More - Get Involved friendsofoscarscherer.com. Its water features include South Creek and two fresh water ponds, Lake Osprey and Big Lake. © Copyright 2020 © Copyright 2018 Florida Department of Environmental Protection. View details about online payments, park  and campground closures, park programs/events and facial coverings. This park’s large acreage of scrubby flatwoods makes it one of the best places in southwest Florida to view Florida scrub-jays, an imperiled species found only in Florida. Paddlers can rent canoes or kayaks for $15 per hour and paddle out onto South Creek. Come hike our trails or hop in a canoe or kayak and explore the brackish waters of South Creek. If your not into birding there are plenty of other things to do in the park, including Canoeing, fishing and swimming in Osprey Lake. These amenities include: Accessible campsites; Lester Finley Barrier Free Trail; Lake Osprey Trail; Beach wheelchair; Fishing dock; Canoe/kayak launch; Nature Center; Lake beach access; Videos with closed/open caption; Picnic pavilions and benches; Grills Featuring multiple trails for various age groups, trick-or-treating, interactive games and the Nokomis Fire Department's infamous Haunted House. We operate under usual non-profit guidelines but have DEP oversight, due to our affiliation to a state park. Please use caution will hiking in the park. Pets must not be left unattended, nor taken into restroom facilities or onto playground equipment. Open most days from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. To find out if the center will be open during your visit call the Ranger Station at (941) 483-5956 . The lake is also open for fishing; however, fishing is not permitted in the designated, roped-off swimming area. Oscar Scherer State Park Full Facility Camping Oscar Scherer State Park is a Seasonal Camping Park. Six marked hiking trails provide visitors an opportunity to explore various remote portions of the park. Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through, Canoe and Kayak Rentals $15 + tax per hour ($16.05). The park offers two launch areas. Oscar Scherer State Park is located six miles south of Sarasota, in Osprey, FL. Please call the park at 941-483-5956 to make reservations. Visitor center hours may vary. The park span 1,381 acres and is a bird watcher’s haven. Our main priority is the safety of our guests and staff. A fishing license may be required. Oscar Scherer has temporarily closed portions of the Green Trail until further notice due to the annual American bald eagle nesting season, per national protocols and regulations. There is always something to do at Oscar Scherer State Park. For many years Oscar Scherer State Park has hosted numerous fishing contests, the Kiwanis Fishathon being an annual event. Oscar Scherer State Park is located on U.S.41, six miles south of Sarasota. Numbered benches conveniently placed along the trails provide resting spots and, since the numbers correspond with numbers on the trail map, visitors can determine their exact location on the trail. Canoeists and kayakers can paddle along South Creek, a tidal blackwater stream, which flows to a nearby bay. So bring the friends, bring the family and enjoy an outdoor cookout at these sites (1-104) just south of South Creek. Lake Osprey is a three-acre freshwater lake providing anglers with the opportunity to catch bream, bluegill, largemouth bass and channel catfish. The creek fluctuates with the incoming tide and is brackish (a mixture of fresh and salt water). Friends of Oscar Scherer Park About Us. Its over 1,300 acres are covered with pine and scrubby flatwoods, mangrove forests, ferns, and palms. The Nature Centre in the park has exhibits and videos about the natural communities within the park. The center showcases the park's scrubby flatwoods, home of the Florida Scrub Jay, Gopher Tortoise, and Eastern Indigo Snake. Weekly bird walks are also offered. Scavenger hint sheets will be available at the ranger station or on the Friends of Oscar Scherer State Park Facebook page. In addition to viewing wildlife, an array of other land-based and water-based recreational activities awaits you. Campsites are available for tent or RV camping with complete hook-ups for electric and water. Oscar Scherer State Park is located on U.S. 41, six miles south of Sarasota. Non-campers may also use these showers, however, they must register at the Ranger Station and pay an additional fee. Please do not enter this protected area. The birds are abundant in this 1,381-acre park. Like all state parks, a few sites are set aside for walk-ups on a first-come, first-serve basis. It's effectively an inexpensive, interactive, high-tech treasure hunt that's a great way to learn geography. Canoe or kayak rentals are possible, but motorboats are not allowed outside the park boundaries. The Nature Center at Lake Osprey has interpretative exhibits about the Park. Primitive camping and youth camping sites are also available. Lake Osprey is a perfect place to cool off during the hot summer days. Please view our events for more information. We will continue to review operations on a daily basis and make additional operational changes as may be deemed necessary for protection of public health. Oscar Scherer State Park is committed to providing a variety of accessible amenities to all of our visitors. Guided canoe trips are offered every Wednesday and a night paddle is offered once a month. Oscar Scherer State Park is located on US 41, 2 miles south of Osprey, FL. Oscar Scherer is a hidden gem surrounded by housing developments and major highways, and the park plays an invaluable role in the preservation of Florida scrub-jay habitat. Guided canoe trips are offered every Wednesday and a night paddle is offered once a month. Located in a fairly densely populated area between Venice and Sarasota on the Florida gulf coast, you would... Added: 2/14/2015. One third of this two acre lake has a sandy beach. Picnic areas are equipped with grills, and pavilions can be reserved for a fee. Please stop and chat with one of our wonderful volunteers to learn more about the park. Osprey, FL 34229 (941) 483-5956 Make sure to request a trail map when entering the park. Please remember that all animals are protected and it is unlawful to harm, harass or feed them. There are about 15 miles of marked hiking and biking trails. Please, never leave campfires unattended and extinguish them completely with water before vacating the site. FSP.Feedback@FloridaDEP.gov, Florida Department of Environmental Protection. One is a primitive ramp for kayaks and canoes only across from the Ranger Station. Wading birds such as the Great Blue Heron and Little Blue Heron can be seen feeding in the water while Ospreys soar overhead. The park provides opportunities for canoeing, fishing, swimming, picnicking, hiking, bicycling, camping and wildlife viewing. From I-75 North, take exit 36. Oscar Scherer State Park is a hidden oasis on the Florida Gulf Coast. Fore more information, visit the Friends of Oscar Scherer State Park. Oscar Scherer State Park offers 104 fully-equipped campsites for tent or RV camping with electric and water hook-ups. They must be well-behaved and kept on a six-foot, hand-held leash at all times. Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey: See 316 reviews, articles, and 180 photos of Oscar Scherer State Park, ranked No.3 on Tripadvisor among 14 attractions in Osprey. Effective Nov. 12, 2020: Oscar Scherer State Park is open (see hours of operation and fee information below). Traveling south from Tampa on I-75, take exit 200 (old 36) to US 41. Campfires may be banned during extremely dry weather conditions. Oscar Scherer State Park 's award-winning Lester Finley Barrier-Free Nature Trail--the first ADA-compliant hiking trail in the state park system when it was built by the all-volunteer Friends of Oscar Scherer in 1996--is a half-mile path meandering through a … Ranger-led canoe programs are available every Wednesday with guided night paddles once a month. Pets are allowed in this park's campground and visitor recreation areas. Florida State Parks will follow local orders requiring facial coverings or masks to provide for staff and visitor safety. The boardwalk will allow fishermen to take advantage of the deeper waters of the lake. Restroom availability may be limited. There's also an Interpretive Nature Center with nature exhibits about and from Oscar Scherer Park and a children’s playground near the Nature Center. Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey: See 319 reviews, articles, and 188 photos of Oscar Scherer State Park, ranked No.3 on Tripadvisor among 14 attractions in Osprey. This 12-mile paved trail runs from the beaches of Venice up to Sarasota with Oscar Scherer State Park right in the middle. Guided tours are unavailable. Find Oscar Scherer State Park camping, campsites, cabins, and other lodging options. Service animals are welcome in all areas and buildings of the park, as required by law. There is always something to do at Oscar Scherer State Park. Personal canoes and kayaks must be carried to the South Creek Picnic Area launch. Fishermen can also catch ospreys, which are also a bathing destination within the park, and freshwater and saltwater fish can be caught in the streams. It has a wheelchair accessible fishing dock, butterfly observation area and drinking fountain. The Park has a variety of outdoor recreation including hiking (over 15 miles of trails), biking, paddling (canoe & kayaking rentals available), fishing, swimming, snorkeling, roller blading and picnicking. Our beautiful picnic areas are host to many weddings each year. The boardwalk will be fully ADA compliant and will provide both a fishing pier and a general recreation focus for the park. The picnic tables and grills provide a kitchen away from home. South Creek is a tidal black water stream that flows through the park. The ranger station has a touchless cash box available for day use entries if paying with exact cash. Reservations may be made up to eleven months in advance. For those looking to spend the day on the water, Oscar Scherer State Park is a great place for canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and fishing. Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under. In addition to viewing wildlife, an array of other land-based and water-based recreational activities awaits you. Each of the five bathhouses in the Family Campground are equipped with restrooms and hot water showers, and are for registered campers only. Mangrove trees, Giant Leather Fern, and Cabbage Palms are a few of the plant species that can be seen growing along the edge of the creek. The park provides opportunities for canoeing, fishing, swimming, picnicking, hiking, bicycling, camping and wildlife viewing. A visitor center has exhibits and videos about the park’s plants and wildlife. A fishing dock located off of the Lester Finley Trail is a great place to fish. All other park facilities are closed. Geocaching is an outdoor game using hand-held global positioning systems (GPS) devices. The Nature Center is located adjacent to Lake Osprey and a large picnic area, and a short walk from the campground. Oscar Scherer State Park is committed to providing a variety of accessible amenities to all of our visitors. Location: Osprey Length: 0.4 mile (extend with non-accessible but gentle spur walk to 1 mile) Lat-Long: 27.174977, -82.462284 Type: loop Fees / Permits: state park admission Difficulty: easy Bug factor: low to moderate Restroom: at trailhead Swimming is permitted in Lake Osprey at the small beach near the nature center. Several guided tours of the park are offered throughout the year. Enjoy a stroll on the quarter-mile walk around Lake Osprey to a 12 mile walk on the paved Legacy Trail. Oscar Scherer State Park is a great place for canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and fishing. Launching during low tides is difficult. Florida state parks provide habitat for many rare, threatened, or endangered plants and animals. During our recent trip to Venice we spent a lot of time walking the beaches looking for shark teeth, so this park gave us a different perspective of the area and a chance to see something different. The Haunted Trails at Oscar Scherer State Park is an event that is fun for the whole family. Other species of wildlife including bobcats, Bald Eagles, gopher tortoises, white-tailed deer, Eastern cotton-tail rabbits, raccoons and American alligators can be seen at times in different areas of the park. Be sure to pick up an animal list and hiking trail map upon entering the park and ask a Park Ranger for more information on wildlife observation. Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey, FL - January 2014 Like every other Florida State Park we have been to, Oscar Scherer SP is terrific. Tour of the Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey Florida with Park Ranger Tony Clements. Throughout Oscar Scherer State Park you’ll find pavilions, picnic tables and charcoal grills, a canoe launch and fishing dock. Paddles and life jackets are included with watercraft rental; please call the park for more information. The Lester Finley Barrier Free Nature Trail, located in South Creek Picnic Area, is accessible to those with sight, hearing or mobility impairments. A primitive group camp area is available to rent. Also by law, no pets are allowed on the swimming beach or in the lake. Oscar Scherer State Park. There are seven ADA accessible sites, with aprons for parking and concrete slabs for grill and table. Come out and take a look to see if we are a good fit for you. Visitors can launch their own canoe or kayak, or rent one from the Ranger Station. The FOSP is a 501c3 non-profit organization; officially designated a CSO – Citizen Support Organization – by the Department of Environmental Protection. Try both freshwater and saltwater fishing from the creek banks, or anglers can fish the shores of Lake Osprey, which is also the park’s swimming destination. The boardwalk will be fully ADA compliant and will provide both a fishing pier and a general recreation focus for the park. The park has full-facility campsites and a youth/group camp area. Geocaching should have minimal impact to the environment and conscientious land use ethics should be followed. It also includes several exhibits about the park's various plants and animals. You may want to wear good hiking shoes, bring drinking water, wear a hat, and use sunscreen and insect repellent. The South Creek Picnic Area and Lake Osprey Picnic Area each provide visitors with picnic tables, charcoal grills, pavilions, and a playground. At the Lake Osprey Picnic Area, a bathhouse with inside cold water showers is available to all visitors. But there’s way more to see and do here than just spot eagles or the endangered Florida Scrub Jay. Canoe/kayak launch, trails and picnic facilities are available. Event is free with paid park … It is a great location for weddings, family reunions or business meetings. Oscar Scherer State Park With electricity and water as well as picnic tables and grills, not only are Oscar Scherer campgrounds a home away from home, but a kitchen away from home! The clean, accessible restrooms have hot showers and laundry facilities. There are eleven hiking/biking trails of various sizes and access to the Legacy Trail, a paved multiuse trail that runs ten miles through the county. Please contact the Ranger Station for additional information, reservations and current rental rates. The pavilions and Nature Center are each available for rental. Pick up a bird list and explore the over 200 species of birds that live or frequent the park. Campfires are allowed in the campground but only in the "ground grill" provided. This site offers a composting toilet, running water and enough space to accomodate up to 40 people. The donations are used to help support the park through special projects and improvements to park facilities. A bathhouse sits near the parking area. In addition to viewing wildlife, an array of other land-based and water-based recreational activities awaits you. Trail map of Oscar Scherer State Park. Florida, Locations Comments Off on Camping in West Florida: Oscar Scherer State Park Camping at Oscar Scherer State Park offers full-facility campsites for tent campers as well as RV campers. The lake is stocked with catfish as part of the urban fisheries program sponsored by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Contact the Statewide Information Line: This is a popular campground for snowbirds, who reserve sites well in advance, but there are often cancellations as itineraries change, so monitor the reservation calendar at ReserveAmerica carefully. Oscar Scherer State Park is a great option instead of going to the beach. These requirements vary from area to area. Canoeing South Creek is one of the more popular recreational activities available at the park. The Legacy trail is a 12 mile paved trail from the beaches of Venice North to Sarasota with the park located directly in the middle. Visitors are expected to maintain distances of at least six feet apart. (850) 245-2157, Or send an email to: We offer year-round youth programming for both individuals and groups. Canoes, single kayaks and double kayaks are currently available for rent and are launched from our ADA accessible South Creek Picnic Area. Fifteen miles of trails provide solitude, beauty, challenge and a healthy adventure for everyone. We lead hikes and Junior Ranger programs, tram tours and field trips. The birds are abundant in this 1,381-acre park. Be sure to visit the Interpretive Nature Center located in front of scenic Lake Osprey. 1843 S. Tamiami Trail. Birding and wildlife viewing area also really nice here. South Creek Picnic Area has a restroom, small pavilion and a canoe launch. The creek begins north of the park and is formed by rainfall and freshwater run-off and eventually flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Surrounded by urban sprawl, Oscar Scherer State Park is an unexpected oasis providing visitors with a refreshing escape into natural Florida. Heading north on I-75 take exit 195. Oscar Scherer State Park is home to the only fresh water swimming lake in Sarasota County. The park provides opportunities for canoeing, fishing, swimming, picnicking, hiking, bicycling, camping and wildlife viewing. Lake Osprey Picnic Area has a bathhouse, two pavilions, and a Nature Center located next to Lake Osprey. There is always something to do at Oscar Scherer State Park. Due to recent rains hiking trails may be muddy, have standing water or be impassable. With 1382 acres comprised of pine flatwoods, a blackwater stream called South Creek, and two freshwater lakes, Oscar Scherer State Park is no exception. The park in particular is noted for its population of scrub-jays, gopher tortoises, and indigo snakes. View campsite map, availability, and reserve online with ReserveAmerica. The 1,400 acre park has parking, restrooms, camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, playground and kayaking/canoeing on South Creek or Lake Osprey, the main recreational area. Canoe and kaya… Oscar Scherer State Park is a 1400 acre park featuring Florida's rare, scrubby flatwoods and the endangered Florida Scrub Jay. The park is well known for its population of Florida Scrub Jays which can be found throughout the park's scrubby flatwoods plant community. Heading south on I-75 take exit 200. It’s fed by an artesian spring, so the water doesn’t stagnate. The trail will be closed from bench 14 to the eagle viewing station. Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey: Address, Phone Number, Oscar Scherer State Park Reviews: 4.5/5 South Creek provides an opportunity to catch saltwater species. Participants use location coordinates to find caches. Oscar Scherer State Park is home to several Geocache locations. The park is known for its population of easily viewed Florida Scrub-Jays. The Legacy Trail runs directly through the heart of Oscar Scherer State Park. Consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited, except during park-sanctioned events where alcohol is permitted within designated areas. The biggest reward is the thrill of the search and the discovery of a place where you have never been. The park features 10 miles of biking trails with the Legacy Trail directly through the heart of the park. The birds are abundant in this 1,381-acre park. Over 15 miles of hiking trails await you at Oscar Scherer State Park. Both freshwater and saltwater fishing opportunities are available at the park. Park Activities. Several campsites along the creek are not pet friendly due to their proximity to the water. Pets (other than service animals) are not permitted in any of the restroom facilities. Bald eagles nest here in the winter and in the summer Lake Osprey attracts anglers, swimmers and kayakers. The Nature Center is equipped with a kitchen, folding tables, chairs, and a sound system. As a safety concern we do not allow pets in rental canoes. Snorkeling is allowed in Lake Osprey, our fresh water swimming lake. The park also has access to the Legacy Trail; a paved rails to trails; suitable for walking, biking, jogging, or rollerblading which runs from Venice, Florida to Sarasota, Florida passing through Oscar Scherer State Park. Occasionally alligators and otters can be seen taking advantage of the creek's diverse habitat. Our Nature Center is open for visitors from 10 am to 3 pm most days and includes an interpretive exhibit. Collecting of firewood is not allowed, however campers can bring in their own firewood or obtain it at the Ranger Station for a donation to the park's Citizen Support Organization the Friends of Oscar Scherer Park, Inc., whose members work at keeping firewood available. Please call the park at 941-483-5956 for more information. Oscar Scherer is a hidden gem surrounded by housing developments and major highways, and the park plays an invaluable role in the preservation of Florida scrub-jay habitat. Dioramas, videos, displays and touch table enlighten the senses and help visitors learn more about the park. Fifteen miles of trails provide solitude, beauty, challenge and a healthy adventure for everyone. The other is an ADA-compliant canoe kayak launch at South Creek Picnic Area. Inquire at the ranger station for more details. Boat and picnic pavilion rentals are currently unavailable. Visitors looking for wildlife will find that early and late in the day are the best times. 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