Capron Ridge was originally a Planned Unit development named St. Patrick's. The developer wanted to establish a strong Irish history theme, emulated in the selection of community names for the 6 diverse communities which create the Capron Ridge lifestyle: All the street names were researched and chosen to reflect unique places in Ireland.
The Capron Ridge parcel had history, as a trail completed in 1837 crossed the property. This trail was known as the Capron-Hernandez Trail. The name Capron Ridge replaced St. Patrick's to pay a tribute to the trail, built on the Atlantic Coastal Ridge, in the sandy scrub area of the development.
The Capron-Hernandez Trail was the first road from St. Augustine to the Ft. Pierce area. After its completion in 1837, the road was over 200 miles long. Joseph M. Hernandez (1792-1857), a Brigadier General in the Army, was in charge of the construction. This task was conducted during the Second Seminole War, and close to the heart of Seminole territory.
With the opening of the Haulover Canal (1854), followed by the development of railroads (I880s- I890s) and then paved highways (20th century), human traffic on the Hernandez Trail diminished considerably. However. it was often used to as recently as the I940s. Some portions of the trail are marked monuments. The trail segment most resembles the trails found in the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary in Titusville. Capron Ridge is built on high ground and high principles. The development was created as a unique setting for all generations of families to preserve nature and a strong sense of community.
Today, Capron Ridge is a beautiful blend of natural preserve and seven distinctly diverse communities. Each is named for Irish communities with similar character.
There are 35 acres of wetlands, landscape buffers, and recreation areas to provide green spaces near every homesite. The final design produced a continuous wildlife corridor throughout the entire project, with over 57 acres of preserved upland and wetland areas, approximately 30% of the entire property.
There was approximately 60 acres of distressed scrub habitat on site with two families of scrub jays. The same areas of land were home to many gopher tortoises. These are both protected species in Florida. The final design has over 21 acres of protected scrub jay habitat which was carefully restored, fenced, and deeded to the EELs, with funding for perpetual management of the land. Since the improvements to the habitat were made, such as removing large trees and controlled burning of underbrush, the jays have thrived to add a third family with many more birds.
The 15 acres of lakes on the property were created to surround and enhance the visual appearance of preserved woodlands, and serve as a water management system for the development. These lakes have gentle curves and appear to be natural water bodies. The water elevation is set by a weir to be 26' above sea level. The lakes are about 15' deep at their deepest, and dirt pulled from the creation of the lakes made the project nearly perfectly balanced with cut and fill requirements for roads and common areas. During Tropical Storm Fay in 2008, there were 24"-48” of rain dumped on Brevard County. The development's drainage and lake systems retained all the water without any flooding.
The development utilized many Green practices with environmental stewardship of water resources, preserved lands, providing active and passive amenities within preserved areas, and using "green wise" development choices in landscaping. The landscaping is comprised of mostly native plant species including palms, grasses, and flowering lantanas which help blend these areas with the natural surroundings.
The water bodies comprise Tralee Bay, a man-made lake within Ashford Harbor, are full of fish which bubble the calm water. This lakeside area can be traversed along an 8' wide promenade sidewalk connecting the community center to Tralee Bay Estates. There are 4 observation piers and a wood bridge, set out on the lake for closer access into the water areas. Capron Ridge has many natural trails through preserved native habitat. There are gopher tortoises and scrub jays residing in the preserved upland areas, as well as deer, bobcats, and many other native plant & animal species. There are nearly a mile of sidewalks and coquina shell pathways through preserved upland and water areas which connect the entire Capron Ridge community and provide a great way to exercise surrounded by Old Florida scenery. In total, 25% of the community is Open Active and Passive space per the Planned Development guidelines of Brevard County. Many of the homesites have either preserved uplands or lakeside views which provide the setting for beautiful homes within a timeless natural setting.
The 12 acres of recreation facilities at Capron Ridge were planned to give access to the natural amenities of Capron Ridge and provide resort-style modern conveniences. There are 7 park areas, including Kerry Park, Fawn Park, Dobbin Park, the South Capron Trail, Capron Trail, North Capron Trail, and the Community Center. These parks include a 3000 square foot clubhouse, a resort-style pool with large paver stone deck, a tennis court, shuffleboard court, basketball court, play fields, beach volleyball, senior games area, and over 2 miles of walking trails (North and South Capron Trails).