Hernando County is home to 52 miles of rivers, including the Withlacoochee, Little Withlacoochee, Weeki Wachee and Mud rivers—plus plenty of creeks and other waterways ideal for kayaking, canoeing or stand-up paddleboarding. One fun option: the 1.7-mile coastal paddling trail that follows Jenkins Creek between Bayport Park and Linda Pedersen Park along the Gulf Coast. Paddle past swaying cordgrass, cabbage palms and mangroves, and keep an eye out for bald eagles, wood storks, herons and spotted sandpipers.
3. Seek out marine life.
For those who like to drop in a line, the fishing experiences along Florida’s Adventure Coast are plentiful. You could go deep-sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico for grouper, cobia and snapper; try flats fishing for tarpon, trout and redfish; or hit the lake for the chance to pull up largemouth bass, bream and crappie. If scallops are more your taste, visit during scallop season—usually July through late September—and go snorkeling or diving for the delectable mollusks along the coast. If you’d rather simply watch local marine life, look for the manatees that populate the area’s rivers and springs. Bird watchers will enjoy eight locations along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.
4. Catch a thrill.