A Southwest Florida natural gem, Osprey’s Oscar Scherer State Park is 1,381 acres of pine forest, salt marsh and freshwater wetland interwoven with nature trails and other recreational opportunities. Strap on your hiking boots and let’s explore.
In Memory of Mr. Scherer
The park’s namesake was a 19th-century German immigrant and inventor who developed a process for dying leather shoes. In 1955, Oscar Scherer’s daughter, Elsa, bequeathed 462 acres of land to the state in his memory. (Florida purchased additional acreage to expand the park in 1992.)
Get Your Steps In
More than 15 miles of hiking trails wind through the park, allowing walkers and joggers ample room to explore. This year’s popular Scrub Jay 5K/10K race takes place on Feb. 11.
Pack Your Binoculars
Birders flock to Oscar Scherer to catch a glimpse of some of the 200 species there, especially the Florida scrub jay, which is endangered—only 5,000 birds left—but abundant in the park.
The Water’s Fine
Visitors can take a refreshing dip in Lake Osprey, the only freshwater swimming lake in Sarasota County. The designated swimming zone features a sandy beach and adjacent picnic area.
Hide and Seek
Several geocache sites throughout the park give GPS treasure-hunters a chance to practice their skills while exploring.
Tours and Good Times
In addition to the popular Sunday-morning guided scrub jay walks, the park offers regular tram tours and special events like pancake breakfasts, movie nights and campfire storytelling.
Oscar Scherer State Park
1843 S. Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229 | (941) 483-5956
Admission: 2-8 person occupied vehicle: $5
Single-person occupied vehicle: $4
Pedestrians and cyclists: $2
Hours: 8 a.m.-sunset, 365 days a year