What to do in Oscar Scherer State Park

In 1955, Elsa Scherer Burrows donated 462 acres to the state of Florida in memory of her father Oscar Scherer. The elder Scherer was an 1870s inventor who developed a process for dyeing shoeing leather. The park officially opened in 1956 obtaining additional acreage in 1991 bringing the park's total acreage to 1,384.

Several important ecosystems lie within the park boundaries. South Creek, the blackwater stream, estuarine tidal swamp, prairie hammock and perhaps the two most significant, scrubby flatwoods and pine flatwoods. Species including the Florida scrub jays, gopher tortoises, gopher frogs, eastern indigo snakes, warblers, and woodpeckers depend on these disappearing habitats due to the past suppression and exclusion of natural fires.

A variety of recreational activities are enjoyed year-round at Oscar Scherer State Park. Eight trails roam either along the riverbank or through the dry flatwoods for a total length of 16 miles. Most of the trails are available to mountain bikers. One of the best-known trails at the park is the Lester Finley Nature Trail. The trail is a memorial to a former visually impaired park volunteer. Special trail features include touch-activated speakers, rumble strips, and seasonal waterfall. Two campgrounds accommodate individuals and groups. A fishing dock, swimming area, picnic pavilions and large recreation hall are conveniently located. One mile of the South Creek bisects the park between the Gulf and Lake Osprey. Both saltwater and freshwater fishing opportunities are available. The park offers canoe rental.

Visitors to Oscar Scherer State Park enjoy lake swimming, picnicking, hiking, both saltwater and freshwater fishing, canoeing, boating, camping, and mountain biking.

Oscar Scherer State Park is located six miles south of Sarasota along U.S. Highway / Tamiami Trail.

Winters in west central Florida are normally mild with occasional temperatures dipping into the 30's and 40's Fahrenheit. However, averages range between 52 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit (11 - 18 Celsius). Summers are normally hot and muggy with temperatures and humidity usually exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Averages range between 81 and 83 degrees (27 - 29 Celsius). Precipitation for the central west area ranges between 52 and 56 inches per year.

1843 S. Tamiami Trail
Osprey, FL 34229

Phone: 941-483-5956

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