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Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey

#66 of 260 in Nature in Florida
Oscar Scherer State Park is a Florida State Park located between Sarasota and Venice, near Osprey, amidst the heavily developed southwest Florida coast. The address is 1843 South Tamiami Trail. There are more than 130,000 visitors a year.
The park's genesis was in 1955, when Elsa Scherer Burrows, owner of the 462acre South Creek Ranch, died. Her will left the ranch to the state to form a park. It was to be dedicated to the memory of her father, Oscar Scherer, the developer of a shoe leather dyeing process in 1872. A year later, the park was ready and opened to visitors.
Thirty years after that, realtor and environmentalist Jon Thaxton started work to protect the neighboring Florida scrub jay territory. In 1992 this resulted in 922acre being added from the adjacent Palmer Ranch that had been among the holdings of Bertha Honoré Palmer, in large part due to the Nature Conservancy, public support, and the use of Preservation 2000 funds, expanding the park's size to 1384acre.
In September 2008, in recognition of National Public Lands Day, Lee Wetherington, a local developer and long-time park supporter, donated an additional 16.6acre of land to the park, including the buffer property adjacent to the Willowbend subdivision (a Wetherington development), bringing the total park size to 1400acre.
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Oscar Scherer State Park Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
315 reviews
  • The camp was a very nice place to stay at with many different walking trails. The lots were big and private. The camp hosts were very kind, helpful and caring. The rangers at the front desk were...  more »
  • We spent some time in Oscar Scherer park and enjoyed a nice hike. The ranger at the front entrance was very friendly and informative on what we would enjoy about the park. We hiked on the red trail...  more »
  • Great place for paddle boarding on calm back waters but easy access out to the bay too. Very pretty surroundings and ample parking. Only wish the had a wash off station for boards.
  • Love camping in the park. They have these wonderful kids and family activities throughout the year. The learning center is a must visit.

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