Hiking The Oscar Scherer State Park
The 13th most popular hiking trail in Florida.
Thursday 4 August 2016 03:12 GMT
South of Sarasota and Osprey, the 1380 acre Oscar Scherer State Park has 14 miles of trails through slash pine, palmetto and scrub praire. Watch out for gopher tortoises.
YELLOW TRAIL - This trail takes about 2 1/2 hours to complete. It is 5 miles of mainly level and sandy trails. It passes the Mary Thaxton memorial and explores this remote part of the Park. It passes through mesic pine flatwoods, prairie hammocks, and scrubby flatwoods. Shorter hikes of 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 miles can be taken by following the shortcut indicated on the trail map. Many service roads intersect the trail allowing for other self-constructed routes. Benches are located along the trail. Biking is allowed but can be difficult in the soft sand.
BLUE TRAIL - This is a 1 1/2 mile hike through Florida Scrub-Jay habitat. It passes through mesic pine flatwoods and scrubby flatwoods. It begins at the same trailhead as the Red Trail and then follows the fence line north along a housing development. It later joins the Yellow Trail parallel to the Rails-to-Trails before returning to the starting point. Much of the trail can be sandy in dry weather and provides little shade during the hike. Biking is allowed but can prove difficult in spots.
RED TRAIL - The Red Trail can be either a 1 1/2 mile or 2 mile hike that explores the northwestern portion of the Park. It begins at the same trailhead as the Blue Trail and later splits off following the boundary of the Park along a housing development to the western boundary. Biking can be difficult in spots.
GREEN TRAIL - The Green Trail begins behind the Nature Center. It can be either a 2 or a 3 mile hike by following the marked trails but several well marked service roads allow many self-determined routes through scrubby flatwoods and mesic pine flatwoods. It crosses South Creek over the bridge leading to the Campground. After passing by a few campsites it enters Florida Scrub-Jay habitat. The hike passes through sections of past controlled burns which are now restoring themselves to scrubby flatwoods. There is very little tree canopy cover in this area of the Park. The trail follows the boundary with a housing development which borders the Park on the south. It is the best biking trail in the Park.
Oscar Scherer State Park is located on U.S.41, six miles south of Sarasota. Heading south on I-75 take exit 200. Heading north on I-75 take exit 195.
Overall, Oscar Scherer State Park is the 13th most popular hiking trail of all 43 hikes in Florida. Several of the better hiking trails are nearby Oscar Scherer State Park including Myakka Trail, Boyette County Park and Deer Prairie Creek Preserve.