Spring is the season to get outdoors and hike these beautiful areas we have here in Hernando County.

Hernando County provides a wide variety of preserves for public hiking and to experience wildlife and nature within their natural habitat.

With the December crisp morning air, you may have the opportunity to witness a doe and her fawn or even a beautiful eagle flying high above you, as well as some amazing little critters.

However, there are times when you come across the most disturbing and unthinkable.


When you are out there hiking with your friends or even your family, you are viewing so much of nature’s beauty and then stumbling  upon an area filled of tossed out beer cans, plastic bottles and more you feel so disgusted and your heart sinks.

Piles of trash
Just one of many piles of trashed gathered at this popular spot at Weekiwachee Preserve. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

It is so hard to believe that people are capable of doing this and have a lack of respect of nature. You ask yourself, why do people do this?

Organizations like the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) along with many, many volunteers work hard to keep these preserves beautiful and to protect the longevity for public use.

There is a place that seems to be a popular hangout at Weekiwachee Preserve. It was such a beautiful spot… a tree stretched over the lake from top of the cliff, it was such a cool place to relax and take in the scenery.

Weekiwachee Preserve
This tree once was thriving, but now lies rotting within the overgrowth. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Now that tree has been toss behind the hill, lying dead among the overgrowth with the sign still nailed in its trunk, No Diving-No Swimming.

Because of the abuse those people did, caused the death of a beautiful tree for no reason but ignorance and the lack of respect for nature.

The more people that litter and vandalize public places like these in Hernando County the more likely these places will close, which this has happen before.

There is an entrance for the public to hike provided by FWC into Chassahowitzka off of 550 (west on 50). There is a sign stating:

The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is committed to the safety and well being of the public , and to protecting Florida’s natural resources. Users have demonstrated a persistent lack of respect for this area, as well as the rules protect it. This has resulted in increased shoreline erosion, and rampant criminal behaviors such as vandalism, theft and littering. These problems necessitated the closure of portions of the area to protect our natural resources and ensure public safety.

If you haven’t hiked and seen this before or volunteered during clean-up days, you may not completely understand all the emotions that build within those that love to be outdoors.

Get outdoors and give back to nature. Help keep Hernando County Beautiful.

You can find information about areas to hike as well as volunteer in Hernando County at these links.

FWC ||  SWFWMD || Environmentally Sensitive Lands || Adopt a Road ||

There is a question all of should ask ourselves… how do we want people to remember us.