Located approximately 35 miles north of downtown Tampa, Hernando County covers 312,000 acres (477 sq. miles), stretching 37 miles from east to west and 18 miles from north to south. Bordered on the west by the Gulf of Mexico, Hernando County is on “The Nature Coast”. Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge comprises a portion of the northwest boundary, while the Withlacoochee State Forest and the Withlacoochee River frames the east. Hernando County’s rivers and lakes provide the freshwater angler some of the finest bass fishing in Florida and Hernando Beach is now considered to be one of the finest tarpon fishing grounds in the world.
Considered the Northern Gateway to Tampa Bay, Hernando County is 15 minutes closer to Tampa/Clearwater/St. Petersburg with the completion of the Suncoast Parkway. This 42 mile limited access, north-south toll road has shortened commute time significantly.
Hernando County , was established on February 27, 1843 and named in honor of Hernando Desoto, a Spanish explorer. The central portion of the county includes the county seat of Brooksville and prior to 1970 contained most of the population. Hernando County’s population growth increased 802% from 1960 to 1990. In the 1980’s, Hernando County was the third fastest growing county in the nation. From April 1990 on, that average has dropped to 3,356 per year. In terms of the estimated new households by percentage growth rate, Hernando County ranked 8th of 67 counties within Florida for the period 1990-1994. The county population was just 17,004 in 1970, and has risen to 130,804 in 2000, a more than seven fold increase in 30 years.
Scenic river banks, brackish creeks and shallow bays, its individuality is surpassed only by its diversity. From cypress ponds and hardwood hammocks to rolling hills, through pastures and pine forests, this is Hernando County.