Last updated: 4/26/2018
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Hardee County FL
Hardee County is located in south central Florida, occupying 638 square miles of an entirely land territory in the state’s historic Peace River Valley. This county was formed in April 1921 after it was split from Desoto County. It was named for Cary A. Hardee, Florida governor from 1921 to 1925.
The county seat is Wauchula, which is also Hardee’s largest city. Wauchula’s name was derived from a Miccosoukee Indian word which means “call of the sandhill crane.” For many residents, it is OK to interchange the names “Hardee County” and “Wauchula,” a strong indication of the high sense of community in this unique Florida area. The city of Bowling Green, six census designated places and same number of unincorporated communities are also part of Hardee County.
Highway 17 would be the main route to take in searches for real estate buying opportunities in Hardee County. This is because U.S. Highway 17 is the county’s only road connecting Zolfo Springs, Wauchula, and Bowling Green, which also happen to be the only three towns in Hardee County.
Via this highway and its arterial roads, a visitor can likewise easily tour Hardee’s major points of interest. One popular stop is Pioneer Park in Zolfo Springs which features more besides its wildlife refuge, picnic shelters and pavilion. It is also home to the Cracker Museum and Village featuring a collection of historic structures.
Proceeding to the county seat Wauchula brings visitors to Hardee’s Main Street Community, its commercial downtown area, and the city’s charming Heritage Park. Highlights of this park include mementos of the county’s pioneer history and the achievements of the academic team of Hardee’s lone high school as Florida champions for several years. Paddling adventures on the Peace River could likewise be arranged here.
Bowling Green Thrills
Yet another interesting park awaits at the Payne’s Historic State Park in Bowling Green. The park’s eponymous creek adjoins Peace River and also provides opportunities for kayaking, canoeing and fishing. There are hiking and biking trails as well, plus historic displays in the park’s museum. This park is also ideal for bird-watching and wildlife viewing.
Bowling Green is also home to Hardee Lakes Park which is approximately 1200 acres. This park boasts of horse trails, hiking trails, bike trails and handicap-accessible hiking trails. Its other features include picnic areas, a pavilion and a playground plus opportunities for fishing and wildlife observation in its boardwalks and observation tower.
Cattle drives and John Deere dealers are a common sight across Hardee, attesting to Hardee’s rural and agricultural character. For more proof, it’s noteworthy that Wauchula was once known as the “Cucumber Capital of the World” until local produce watermelons and citrus took the pilot seat.
Quite attractive for those who plan to relocate in Hardee, housing available in this county is relatively more affordable as compared with all of Florida. There are plenty of residential styles to choose from too, ranging from condominiums to single family homes including manufactured houses.