South Creek... Paddling at Oscar Scherer State Park
South Creek at Oscar Scherer State Park is a blackwater stream that flows into the Gulf of Mexico. The tidal flow creates both freshwater and saltwater influences. A big positive - motorized boats are not allowed within the park boundaries! This is a pleasant paddle upstream through the park and downstream to Blackburn Bay. The diverse habitat includes mangrove, leather ferns, and cabbage palm. (More photos and map below.)
The South Creek picnic area has a restroom, pavilion and kayak/canoe launch which was recently rebuilt by the Friends of Oscar Scherer Park community organization, a great resource for the Park. Guided ranger paddling tours are conducted on Wednesdays. Campsites are also available along the creek.
Wildlife along the creek include deer, otter, raccoon, bobcat, alligator, bald eagle, and wading birds (the Park also has a good-sized population of the endangered Florida scrub-jay). Lake Osprey is the main recreational area in the park, with camping, picnicking, swimming, snorkeling, a playground, and fishing. The Park contains 15 miles of trails for biking, and hiking. The Nature Center at Lake Osprey has interpretative exhibits about the Park Lake Osprey. A trailhead of the Sarasota Legacy Trail (a rails-to-trails project) lies in the Park.
Also visit us here: Bicycling on the Legacy Trail and Venetian Waterway Park
More information on paddling at South Creek (opens in a new window):
Paddling in Florida - Kayak, Canoe
Support and AdvocacyFriends of Oscar