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Hernando County

Hernando at a Glance

Coastal Cities Weeki Wachee
Popular Spot Weeki Wachee State Park
Sandy Beaches 0.8 miles
Public Accesses 2
Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail

19 sites

State Parks & Lands
Annutteliga Hammock 2,327
Chassahowitzka River and Coastal Swamps (Citrus) 5,679
Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area 27,264
Chinsegut Wildlife Environmental Area 828
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park 538
Weekiwachee Preserve (Pasco) 10,979
Withlacoochee State Forest (Citrus, Pasco, Sumter) 159,562
Withlacoochee State Trail (Citrus, Pasco) 760
Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve (Citrus, Pasco) 450,000
Federal Lands

Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge (Citrus)

30,843

Subtropical Agricultural Research Station

3,850
Bays & Inlets
Chassahowitzka Bay
Rivers & Paddling Trails
Chassahowitzka River, Mud River, Weeki Wachee River, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail

The county of Hernando is known as the Adventure Coast for the boundless opportunities to explore natural Florida. From scenic bike trails, popular paddling locations, agritourism, scallop diving, and horseback riding, Hernando County is a paradise for adventurers.  

At the headwaters of the Weeki Wachee freshwater cave system is Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. The park is famed for its live mermaid shows beginning in 1947 and taking place in a 400-seat submerged limestone amphitheater. Weeki Wachee also boasts a spring side sandy beach, paddle launching sites, animal encounters, and river boat tours. Located inside the park is Buccaneer Bay, a waterpark with two slides plunging riders into the clear spring waters.

More mermaids can be found in the City of Brooksville along the Florida Mermaid Trail where twenty-one statues are hidden in Historic Downtown. Visitors can appreciate the mix of art and history in Brooksville through the mural tour, art galleries, and historical museums.

Much of the county’s shoreline is encompassed by the Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve. The preserve protects seagrass meadow, mangrove islands, sponge beds, oyster reefs, and limestone hardbottom habitats that act as a nursery and  home to a variety of marine species. Visitors to the Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve enjoy scalloping, fishing, boating, and kayaking in the preserve.

Extending across the Chassahowitzka River and over 30,000 acres of saltwater bays, red and black mangroves, and cypress is the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge. The estuaries offer ample opportunities for crabbing and shell-fishing, while boating and paddling are available along the river. The Salt Marsh Trail and the Lastinger Tower are excellent for viewing wildlife such as double-crested cormorants, great blue herons, and ospreys.

Adjacent to Hernando Beach is the Weekiwachee Preserve composed of pine-covered sandhills, hardwood swamps, and saltwater marshes. Known for its rich mosaic of habitats and population of Florida black bears, the preserve is a favored location for active outdoor activities.

On the eastern county border is the headquarters and Croom tracts of the Withlacoochee State Forest, the third largest state forest in Florida. Its dense woodlands and canopy trails of slash pine, pond cypress, and springtime wildflowers create a haven for hikers, primitive campers, and horseback riders. The forest also has miles of designated trails for motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.

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Last Modified:
June 24, 2022 - 1:54pm

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