Menu with CSS3

Hernandez Trail - Titusville, Florida - 1837
E.F. Logo     Enchanted Forest Nature Sanctuary
444 Columbia Blvd., Titusville Florida 32780

Hernandez Trail

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary
by Jim Cooper

Imagine yourself living in eastern Florida over 150 years ago -- say around 1837. It would have looked very much like most of what you see, today, in Titusville's Enchanted Forest Sanctuary -- similar terrain and many of the same types of plants and animals, and very few signs of civilization.

Imagine that you were requested by the U.S. Army to build a road through such a wilderness: General Hernandez Joseph M. Hernandez (1792-1857), a life-long resident of the St. Augustine area, and a Brigadier General in the Army, was given just such an assignment (Dec., 1837). Not only did he have to build the road without benefit of any heavy duty roadbuilding equipment (other than the hand tools used by his soldiers), but his task was conducted during the Second Seminole War, and ever closer to the heart of Seminole territory, as he worked his way southward. Although it was built during the winter months, thus minimizing problems with hot, humid weather and malaria-carrying mosquitoes, construction of the road must have been quite a challenge for General Hernandez' men, especially with the ever-present concern with attacks from Indians and/or wild animals (eg., alligators, panthers).

Most of the road was built along the prehistoric dune line known to geologists as the Atlantic Coastal Ridge -- relatively high and dry terrain, within a mile or so, west of present-day U.S. Highway #1. The same road had been blazed, and at least partially cleared, about 12 years earlier, by Col. James Gadsden's troops, as far south as the St. Lucie River. Hernandez took it to Fort Capron, near that river. Gadsden and Hernandez both probably followed the same trail used by the Seminoles for over a century, and by generations of native Ais and Timucuan Indians prior to that, as they traveled north and south, by horse or on foot, along the Rio de Ais -- now known as the Indian River.

This road was not really used very much by the military after 1838. And the first group to colonize the Indian River area, sailed directly in from the Atlantic Ocean, via the Indian River Inlet, settling in the St. Lucie/ Ft. Pierce area (1842). However, it was not long before many immigrants were also using the Hernandez Trail -- aka, on various maps, as the Capron Trail and the Hernandez-Capron Trail -- to reach their new homesteads.

With the opening of the Haulover Canal (1854) and the subsequent increase in river traffic, followed by the development of railroads (1880s-1890s) and then paved highways (20th century), human traffic on the Hernandez Trail diminished considerably. However, it was often used to drive cattle to market, even as recently as the 1940s. Some portions of the trail are still visible on aerial photos (and in some cases trail markers/monuments are visible on the ground), throughout Brevard County and Indian River County; but the trail segment that probably most resembles the original trail is to be found in the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. If you would like to know more about it, contact one of the Friends of the Enchanted Forest, or read the following :


Hernandez Trail Today
The Hernandez Trail in the Enchanted Forest
December, 1996.
Hernandez Trail marker in Cocoa
Click to enlarge.

Cocoa Village, King St. (SR 520), just east of U.S. 1.
Hernandez Trail Marker at Airport Rd. Titusville
Click to enlarge.

Marker at Airport Road
and North Dixie Ave., Titusville

1885 Brevard-Titusville map - Hernandez-Capron Trail
1885 Brevard-Titusville map - Hernandez-Capron Trail

Visitors from the North Brevard Historical Society HomePage - click here to return.
|| Educational Resources of the NBBD | ECOTOURISM on Florida's Space Coast | Titusville Outdoors ||


Titusville is a wonderfully varied community.

Amazon Prime
includes music &
FREE 2 day shipping

Titusville Area     Businesses

Places to Go
    Things to Do
About the NBBD



Get out and go!

Keeping you up to date with what's going on.

Keeping you up-to-date with what is available and what is going on in the Titusville, FL area. Contact the webmaster for most anything by
A solidarity movement for gender equality.  
the North Brevard Area
Produced by Peak Performance Co.
Last updated: 5/12/18 — © 1996 - 2016
• Info on participating in this directory.
• Info for non-profits.
• We can register, produce, host and market your Internet presence.
New look. New features. Coming along.

EYES ON PAGE is what you seek when promoting your business or activity. In 2017 the webpages of the NBBD were visited 1,078,946 times - that averages 2,956 times a day. Won't some of them be seeking what you offer?
The style of the NBBD is classic, much like Wickipedia and CraigsList, only more colorful and responsive to our community and your needs.
For as little as $120 a year you can be found here!

10/30/96 -