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Point Defiance Trail
Herb Lindberg

This trail has several levels of difficulty depending on how you use it.  As shown in the Bridgeport trail map, the basic trail starts near the north abutment of Wood's Bridge (the end away from the Visitor Center) and heads downriver.  If you take the trail only a mile or so to Lake Englebright and re-trace your steps to return, it's not much more difficult than the Buttermilk Bend Trail.  Here you have to be more careful of your footing as you pick your way among the multitude of small and large rocks that stick up.

With more difficulty and greater reward, you can take a three-mile loop by continuing along Englebright Lake (which looks like a river here), climbing up an access road along side it, over the hill behind the ranger residence, and down to the residence.  At this point you are directly across Pleasant Valley Road from the entrance to the Buttermilk Bend Trail parking lot.  If you hike the trail in the opposite direction, this end of the trail is well marked by a sign behind the ranger residence, which is a double-wide trailer.  The climb over the hill and down to Englebright lake makes this 3-mile loop medium difficulty.

With some additional hiking, if instead of coming directly down the hill to the ranger residence you follow dirt tire tracks toward Pleasant Valley Road, you will come to a gravel road that continues up the hill when you turn left. By following this road you will come to an unobstructed view of Park Headquarters and both the old and new bridges (last photo below).

If you need to avoid much of the climbing but still want to see almost all the river side of the trail, have someone drive you up Pleasant Valley Road, turn left on the first road you see (Rice's Crossing Road, see Bridgeport trail map), and then drive in to the trail, which goes off from a grove of spreading oak trees on the left.  The trail is beyond a fence behind these trees.  From here you hike down to Lake Englebright and along the trail in the upriver direction to Wood's Bridge.

As you get closer to Englebright Lake heading downriver from Wood's Bridge,
you sometimes see boats from the lake.


You can just stop on the trail to view the lake, or climb down to it farther on and walk along its shore.


As you return to Wood's Bridge you can see it peeking out among the trees.


As you get closer you also have a nice overview of Family Beach.


This is one of the spectacular views from the dirt road above the park.


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