Welcome to Hernando County, Florida. Part of the nine-county Nature Coast, Hernando County is a part of the Tampa Bay metropolitan area. (Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas Counties).
The local economy is fueled by construction, dairy/cattle production, distribution, electronics, forest resources, health care, lime rock mining, manufacturing, retail, and tourism.
Hernando County is located on the central-west coast of Florida north of Tampa Bay. It is bounded by the Gulf of Mexico on the west, Citrus County to the north, Sumter County to the east, and Pasco County to the south. Hernando County stretches 37 miles east to west and 18 miles north to south, for a total of 506 square miles (approximately 323,700 acres).
As part of the Nature Coast, vast tracts of public land have been preserved in Hernando County. These include the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge, Chinsegut Hill National Wildlife Refuge, Withlacoochee State Forest, Weeki Wachee Preserve, and the PK Ranch.
Recreation also abounds on the Withlacoochee and Weeki Wachee Rivers as well as at the Silver Lake Recreation Area, and the first-magnitude Weekee Wachee Springs. The latter were recently purchased by the State of Florida.
With an average January temperature of 60 degrees, year-round outdoor recreation is the mantra in Hernando County. Hunting, fishing, camping, paddling, birding, and hiking are just a few of the many recreational opportunities enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.
Championship golf courses, paved or wilderness bicycle trails, and the Croom Motorcycle Recreation Area attract visitors from far beyond the County borders.
The Census 2000 population for Hernando County was 130,802. In 2001, the Turnpike District of the Florida Department of Transportation opened 42 miles of the Suncoast Parkway connecting northern Hernando County with the Tampa International Airport and Westshore District of Tampa. The north-south tollway translates to less than 30 minutes to Tampa for many Spring Hill residents. Hernando County is also well connected by Interstate 75 and US 301 in the east, US 41 and US 98 in the central part of the County, and US 19 in western Hernando County. Other Florida cities lying within an hour's drive of the county are Lakeland, Ocala, and Orlando. The County is served by the local Hernando County Airport and Tampa International Airport, 45 miles to the south.