About Hardee County


Formed in 1921 and named after Florida's 23rd governor, Carry A. Hardee, Hardee County is a rural, community-centered and agricultural based county. With a population of approximately 28,000, it's the perfect place to experience a genuine small-town atmosphere.

With its main focus on agriculture and cattle, Hardee County ranks third in the state as one of the purebred cattle producing counties in Florida with 69,000 heads of cattle, the third highest milk producing county in the state, and is fifth in the state for most commercial citrus production. Hardee County is approximately 638 square miles, with U.S. 17 as the main highway, running north and south through the county.

The City of Wauchula, with its Main Street lined with shops and local eateries, was incorporated in 1902 and is the county seat. For many years, the city was referred to as the 'Cucumber Capitol of the World.' These days, watermelons and citrus are even more important to the local economy. The name Wauchula comes from a Miccosoukee Indian word, meaning 'Call of the Sandhill Crane.'

The Town of Zolfo Springs is home to Pioneer Park, with its wildlife refuge, spacious campground, and Cracker Trail Museum and Village, which includes a collection of historic structures. Guests can visit the old Cracker cabin, post office, blacksmith shop, and see the 1904 Baldwin Steam Locomotive #3. In February, the annual Cracker Trail Ride of the Florida Cracker Trail Association travels through the town on horseback.

In Bowling Green, Paynes Creek Historic State Park is a haven for nature enthusiasts with its scenic walking trails and opportunities for canoeing, kayaking and fishing. The visitor center includes a museum that depicts the lives of Florida's Seminole Indians and pioneers during the 19th Century. An area near the park was even the site of Fort Chokonikla, built in 1849.

Main attractions in Hardee County consist of Hardee Lakes, the annual county fair, and the quirky tourist attraction, Solomon's Castle, nestled in the quant community of Ona.

Hardee County is popular for its 67-mile long beautiful Peace River, which begins south of Bartow and ends in Charlotte Harbor. The river's known for canoe and kayak trips, where you are bound to see wildlife ranging from kingfishers to the famous Florida alligator. 

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Jan. 22, 2021

Hardee County Sheriff's Office Testing Body-Worn Cameras

Jan. 12, 2021

Homicide Investigation

Dec. 07, 2020

Osprey Lane Shooting Suspect Arrested

Dec. 07, 2020

Officer Involved Shooting on Vandolah Road Update

Dec. 07, 2020

One Deceased and One Hospitalized after located at Residence on Chamberlin Boulevard

Nov. 27, 2020

Officer Involved Shooting on Vandolah Road

Nov. 25, 2020

Shooting on Osprey Lane

Nov. 03, 2020

Text-to-911 Now Available in Hardee County

Sep. 22, 2020

Recovered items result in multiple arrests

Aug. 10, 2020

Undercover operation and high-speed pursuit lead to sex offender's arrest

Aug. 05, 2020

Former HCSO deputy arrested for tampering with evidence and drug charges

Jul. 22, 2020

Wauchula man found with over 130 grams of meth, nearly 900 grams of marijuana and over $12,000 cash

Jun. 29, 2020

Zolfo Springs man arrested for sexually battering child

Jun. 08, 2020

Search warrants place meth dealers behind bars

May. 26, 2020

Recent HCSO deputy arrested for drug charges

May. 20, 2020

Hit and run results in Okeechobee man's arrest

May. 15, 2020

Sex offender arrested for failing to comply with offender registration requirements

May. 12, 2020

Juvenile with seven local warrants arrested after high-speed chase in stolen vehicle

Mar. 30, 2020

Hillsborough County man charged with armed burglary and kidnapping

Feb. 14, 2020

HCSO Drug Task Force investigation lands felon 40-year prison sentence

Feb. 12, 2020

Couple passed out in running vehicle with child in backseat

Feb. 05, 2020

Individual wanted by U.S. Marshal Service found hiding in attic

Jan. 23, 2020

Drugs found in car being driven by individual with suspended license

Nov. 14, 2019

Felon arrested on local warrant at traffic stop, meth and stolen firearm found in vehicle

Nov. 12, 2019

Individual crashes stolen vehicle near high school, resulting in foot pursuit and death investigation

Oct. 16, 2019

DNA results in prison sentence for burglar

Jul. 29, 2019

Hardee County Sheriff's Office Implements GED Program at County Jail

Jul. 23, 2019

Cybertips result in Bowling Green Man's Arrest

Jul. 16, 2019

Cybertips lead to Wauchula Man's Arrest

Jul. 05, 2019

Traffic Stop Results in Alligator's Rescue

Jun. 12, 2019

Thieves Caught for Multiple Burglaries

Jun. 04, 2019

Local Veterinarian Arrested for Suspended License

May. 31, 2019

Possession of Concentrated THC Results in Felony Charge

May. 08, 2019

Thief Leaves Cell Phone Behind in Stolen Vehicle

Apr. 16, 2019

Drug dealer arrested

Apr. 12, 2019

Armed and dangerous

Apr. 11, 2019

Juveniles burglarize Hardee County sports complexes

Apr. 08, 2019

Reported Dangerous Shooting

Apr. 05, 2019

Traffic Stop turned Drug Bust

Mar. 28, 2019

Crime Stoppers Reveals New National Logo

Mar. 28, 2019

String of Vehicle Burglaries in Riverview Area

Mar. 27, 2019

Domestic Violence turned Orchestrated Burglary

Mar. 07, 2019

Search Warrant Results in Large Drug Bust

Mar. 04, 2019

Death Investigation at Intersection of Honeysuckle and Hyde Street

Feb. 12, 2019

Secretary Charged with Grand Theft and Fraud

Feb. 12, 2019

Reported Strong Arm Robbery

Jan. 25, 2019

Dangers of Synthetic Cannabis

Nov. 23, 2018

Reported Shooting on Magnolia Boulevard

Nov. 06, 2018

Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon

Nov. 05, 2018

Reported Shooting on Lincoln Street