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Latest update: January 2019

South Creek...

Kayaking at Oscar Scherer State Park

South Creek at Oscar Scherer State Park is a blackwater stream that flows through the Park into Blackburn Bay. While only about 2 miles (one-way), this is an out and back paddle that takes you through both freshwater and saltwater environments, providing the type of diversity we especially enjoy. Ideal for kayak or canoe, we found a good selection of rentals available within the State Park. (See map and photos below.)

Paddle South Creek, Oscar Scherer

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


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Distance: 2 miles (one way)
Location: Sarasota County (Osprey, FL, between Sarasota and Venice)
Difficulty: Easy
Tidal: Yes
Launch points: South Creek Picnic Area, hand launch by entrance station (See map)
Nearby points of interest: Venice, Sarasota, Ringling Museums

Rentals/Outfitters/Tours:

Oscar Scherer State Park

Support and Advocacy:

Friends of Oscar Scherer Park

South Creek... Comments and Photos

While relatively short in distance, there are many positives. Motorized boats are not allowed within the park boundaries! The stream is well sheltered from the wind, until reaching the more open waters of Blackburn Bay. As mentioned, we especially enjoy the diverse environment as the creek transitions from freshwater to saltwater. Guided ranger paddling tours are conducted weekly; contact State Park for information. Campsites are also available along the creek.


Park Launches

Launch at the Entrance Station

A sandy hand launch is located next to the entrance station, down about a 150 foot path.


Launch at South Creek Picnic Area

Rentals are located by the launch at the South Creek picnic area - restroom, pavilion and ADA compliant kayak/canoe launch. If you bring your own kayak, it's a longer carry here, about 350 feet from parking to the launch.


Paddling at South Creek

On the Creek

Pleasant, easy paddle within the State Park. 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.


Blockage at Nature Center

Heading upstream, the creek gradually becomes smaller. At a footbridge over the creek (connecting campground and nature center), rocks obstruct the creek. While it is possible to pull-over, we saw numerous other blockages upstream, making further upstream paddling impractical.


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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