• Boardwalk trail at Oscar Scherer State Park in Venice and Sarasota, Florida. Photo credit Florida State Parks.
  • Kayaking at Oscar Scherer State Park in Venice and Sarasota, Florida. Photo credit Florida State Parks.

Oscar Scherer State Park

Oscar Scherer State Park is located approximately 30 minutes from downtown Sarasota and less than 15 minutes from downtown Venice. This wonderful state park offers a plethora of outdoor activities and ways to explore the natural Florida environment.

Wildlife Spotting Opportunities

Birders will greatly enjoy visiting to see the Florida scrub-jay in its natural habitat. There are also over 200 species of birds that live and visit the park, including Bald Eagles. Weekly bird walks are offered by the Friends of Oscar Scherer State Park. Other wildlife that can be viewed in the park include American alligators, bobcats, gopher tortoises, and more. Make sure to stop by the visitor center to pick up an animal list from a park ranger.

Hiking and Biking at Oscar Scherer

Bikers can pedal through a total of 10 miles of trails including a large section of the Legacy Trail

If hiking is more your speed, there are more than 15 miles of trails for you to explore. Trail maps can be picked up upon entrance to the park.

Canoeing, Kayaking, Swimming, and Fishing at Oscar Scherer

Oscar Scherer State Park is a great place for canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and fishing. Paddlers can rent canoes or kayaks for $15 per hour and paddle out onto South Creek. 

Guided canoe trips are offered every Wednesday and a night paddle is offered once a month. Along the creek, paddlers will see a variety of plant species and birds including heron and osprey. Fishers can check out Lake Osprey, a three-acre freshwater lake the provides ample opportunity to catch bream, bluegill, bass, and more. Saltwater anglers can head to the creek or the fishing dock off Lester Finley Trail.

Tent and RV camping is also available and reservations can be made online.