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Latest update: March 2016

South Creek... Kayaking 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. This is a short but pleasant paddle upstream through the State Park and back downstream to Blackburn Bay. Ideal for kayak or canoe, rentals are available within the State Park. (Detailed map and photos below.)

Paddle South Creek, Oscar Scherer

South Creek & Launch...
Oscar Scherer State Park, FL

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Distance: 2 miles (one way)
Location: Sarasota County (Osprey, between Sarasota and Venice)
Difficulty: Easy
Tidal: Yes
Launch points: South Creek Picnic Area (Oscar Scherer State Park) (See map)
Nearby points of interest: Venice, Sarasota, Ringling Museums


Oscar Scherer State Park

Support and Advocacy:

Friends of Oscar Scherer Park

South Creek... Comments and Photos

A big positive - motorized boats are not allowed within the park boundaries! Guided ranger paddling tours are conducted on Wednesdays. Campsites are also available along the creek.

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 Legacy Trail (a rails-to-trails project, link below) lies in the Park.

Paddling at South Creek

The South Creek picnic area has a restroom, pavilion and ADA compliant kayak/canoe launch, a great resource for the Park. After about a mile, rocks block the river near the Nature Center - protecting the wilderness area. 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). The diverse habitat includes mangrove, leather ferns, and cabbage palm.

South Creek at the Trestle

A trailhead of the Legacy Trail (a rails-to-trails biking project, link below) lies in the Park. Crossing South Creek near Oscar Scherer State Park is a trail bridge and an old trestle bridge - the last remaining of the original 1911 trestles.

Oscar Scherer State Park

The 1,400 acre park has parking, restrooms, camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, playground and kayaking/canoeing on South Creek or Lake Osprey, the main recreational area. There are about 15 miles of marked hiking and biking trails. The Nature Center at Lake Osprey has interpretative exhibits about the Park.

Also visit us here: Bicycling on the Legacy Trail and at Venetian Waterway Park


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