Home to Withlacoochee State Forest, Brooksville is the county seat of Hernando County and the heart of Florida’s Adventure Coast.
Founded in the 1840s, Brooksville has a hilly historic downtown district with numerous antique shops. The west side of town is bisected by the Suncoast Trail, a 42-mile paved bike trail that starts in Tampa and parallels the Suncoast Parkway. With development of the Coast to Coast Trail underway in this region, cyclists can also find their way into town via the Withlacoochee State Trail and the Good Neighbor Trail. Eventually, the two will connect and make Brooksville a major hub along the state-spanning bicycle path.
Trails and Parks near Brooksville
- Chinsegut WEA Big Pine Tract- The southernmost concentration of ancient longleaf pine in America, the Big Pine Tract of Chinsegut WEA is also the second largest contiguous tract of old-growth longleaf pine in Florida.
- Chinsegut WEA Nature Center Tract- At Chinsegut WEA, the Nature Center Tract is a birder’s delight. Sandhill cranes are common in May's Prairie, which the loop trail circles for a 2 mile hike.
- Florida Trail, Cypress Lakes Preserve- At Cypress Lakes Preserve, a 1.7-mile segment of the Florida Trail follows the edge of a series of cypress-lined lakes where ancient trees have survived the ages
- Good Neighbor Trail- Following a former narrow gauge railroad corridor from the main line at Croom to a depot built in 1885 in Brooksville, the Good Neighbor Trail is a 10.1-mile linear paved bike path that is part of the Coast to Coast Trail.
- Hog Island Nature Trail- For a dip into primordial wilderness along the Withlacoochee River, walk the Hog Island Nature Trail at Hog Island Recreation Area in Withlacoochee State Forest
- Nature Coast Botanical Gardens- An oasis of serenity in Spring Hill, several acres of compact garden rooms make up the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens. Each delights the senses with an ever-changing array of blooms and colors.
- Weeki Wachee Springs State Park- Surrounding a sparkling first-magnitude spring, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park has been a draw for tourists since its mermaids first started wooing visitors in the 1940s.
- Weekiwachee Preserve- Named for the river defining its northern boundary, the 11,000-acre Weekiwachee Preserve, along with adjoining public lands, forms the largest remaining Florida black bear habitat along the peninsular Gulf Coast.
- Withlacoochee State Forest- With more than 155,000 acres spread over several counties, Withlacoochee State Forest is Florida’s second largest state forest, and arguably the most popular for outdoor recreation
More near Brooksville
- Biking the Good Neighbor Trail (Dec 2018)- A morning of exploration allowed us to experience the not-quite-open-yet Good Neighbor Trail and its historic context during our visit to Brooksville this September.
- The new 50 Hikes in Central Florida (Oct 2018)- We launched a new full-color edition of 50 Hikes in Central Florida at the National Trails Festival in Deland the first weekend of October. Take a peek inside.
- Hernando Beach isn’t (Jul 2009)- There is no beach at Hernando Beach, save the one that lets you splash into the springs at Jenkins Creek.