Like all state parks, a few sites are set aside for walk-ups on a first-come, first-serve basis. The donations are used to help support the park through special projects and improvements to park facilities. But there’s way more to see and do here than just spot eagles or the endangered Florida Scrub Jay. Tour of the Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey Florida with Park Ranger Tony Clements. The Nature Center is equipped with a kitchen, folding tables, chairs, and a sound system. From I-75 North, take exit 36. Campsites are available for tent or RV camping with complete hook-ups for electric and water. Paddlers can rent canoes or kayaks for $15 per hour and paddle out onto South Creek. We lead hikes and Junior Ranger programs, tram tours and field trips. Surrounded by urban sprawl, Oscar Scherer State Park is an unexpected oasis providing visitors with a refreshing escape into natural Florida. Lake Osprey Picnic Area has a bathhouse, two pavilions, and a Nature Center located next to Lake Osprey. Canoeists and kayakers can paddle along South Creek, a tidal blackwater stream, which flows to a nearby bay. Primitive camping and youth camping sites are also available. The boardwalk will allow fishermen to take advantage of the deeper waters of the lake. Birding and wildlife viewing area also really nice here. 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. Paddles and life jackets are included with watercraft rental; please call the park for more information. Canoes and kayaks can be rented. The pavilions and Nature Center are each available for rental. FSP.Feedback@FloridaDEP.gov, Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The biggest reward is the thrill of the search and the discovery of a place where you have never been. It’s fed by an artesian spring, so the water doesn’t stagnate. So bring the friends, bring the family and enjoy an outdoor cookout at these sites (1-104) just south of South Creek. For many years Oscar Scherer State Park has hosted numerous fishing contests, the Kiwanis Fishathon being an annual event. Paddlers can rent canoes or kayaks for $15 per hour and paddle out onto South Creek (January 2020 prices). 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. In addition to viewing wildlife, an array of other land-based and water-based recreational activities awaits you. The boardwalk will be fully ADA compliant and will provide both a fishing pier and a general recreation focus for the park. One is a primitive ramp for kayaks and canoes only across from the Ranger Station. Traveling north from Ft. … Occasionally alligators and otters can be seen taking advantage of the creek's diverse habitat. Edit Blog Post Delete Blog Post This three-acre freshwater lake has a sandy beach front and is located at the Lake Osprey Picnic Area. It has a wheelchair accessible fishing dock, butterfly observation area and drinking fountain. 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. Scavenger hint sheets will be available at the ranger station or on the Friends of Oscar Scherer State Park Facebook page. Visitor center hours may vary. The park provides opportunities for canoeing, fishing, swimming, picnicking, hiking, bicycling, camping and wildlife viewing. Guided canoe trips are offered every Wednesday and a night paddle is offered once a month. Oscar Scherer State Park is home to several Geocache locations. Heading north on I-75 take exit 195. (850) 245-2157, Or send an email to: 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. Oscar Scherer State Park is committed to providing a variety of accessible amenities to all of our visitors. The South Creek Picnic Area and Lake Osprey Picnic Area each provide visitors with picnic tables, charcoal grills, pavilions, and a playground. The other is an ADA-compliant canoe kayak launch at South Creek Picnic Area. Several guided tours of the park are offered throughout the year. The park is known for its population of easily viewed Florida Scrub-Jays. Canoe/kayak launch, trails and picnic facilities are available. Personal canoes and kayaks must be carried to the South Creek Picnic Area launch. 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. 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 … Both freshwater and saltwater fishing opportunities are 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. Boat and picnic pavilion rentals are currently unavailable. Please use caution will hiking in the park. We offer year-round youth programming for both individuals and groups. Please remember that all animals are protected and it is unlawful to harm, harass or feed them. Each of the five bathhouses in the Family Campground are equipped with restrooms and hot water showers, and are for registered campers only. The picnic tables and grills provide a kitchen away from home. In addition to viewing wildlife, an array of other land-based and water-based recreational activities awaits you. Launching during low tides is difficult. Over 15 miles of hiking trails await you at Oscar Scherer State Park. Pets are allowed in this park's campground and visitor recreation areas. Please stop and chat with one of our wonderful volunteers to learn more about the park. Traveling south from Tampa on I-75, take exit 200 (old 36) to US 41. The Lester Finley Barrier Free Nature Trail, located in South Creek Picnic Area, is accessible to those with sight, hearing or mobility impairments. Visitors looking for wildlife will find that early and late in the day are the best times. Wading birds such as the Great Blue Heron and Little Blue Heron can be seen feeding in the water while Ospreys soar overhead. Participants use location coordinates to find caches. 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. Our Nature Center is open for visitors from 10 am to 3 pm most days and includes an interpretive exhibit. There are about 15 miles of marked hiking and biking trails. We operate under usual non-profit guidelines but have DEP oversight, due to our affiliation to a state park. Florida state parks provide habitat for many rare, threatened, or endangered plants and animals. Heading south on I-75 take exit 200. Find Oscar Scherer State Park camping, campsites, cabins, and other lodging options. Pets must not be left unattended, nor taken into restroom facilities or onto playground equipment. This 12-mile paved trail runs from the beaches of Venice up to Sarasota with Oscar Scherer State Park right in the middle. The birds are abundant in this 1,381-acre park. Snorkeling is allowed in Lake Osprey, our fresh water swimming lake. View details about online payments, park  and campground closures, park programs/events and facial coverings. The boardwalk will be fully ADA compliant and will provide both a fishing pier and a general recreation focus for the park. Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey: Address, Phone Number, Oscar Scherer State Park Reviews: 4.5/5 Due to recent rains hiking trails may be muddy, have standing water or be impassable. Bald eagles nest here in the winter and in the summer Lake Osprey attracts anglers, swimmers and kayakers. It also includes several exhibits about the park's various plants and animals. Make sure to request a trail map when entering the park. Please view our events for more information. 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