Texas Lakes Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program


Each week in the 1850s four stagecoaches of the Butterfield Overland Mail Company rambled across the wooden toll-bridge over the West Fork of the Trinity River. The frontier village of Bridgeport sprang up along the banks, although the Civil War ended stagecoach service in 1861. Bridgeport later relocated from the river to a rail line, but the town still remembers its stagecoach past each May during Butterfield Stage Days. The town even got itself named the "Stagecoach Capital of Texas." Bridgeport’s visitors center houses a replica Concord stagecoach, along with the Bridgeport Heritage Museum and its local history displays. In 1882 a water drilling crew struck a rich vein of coal, a vital product that soon brought a railroad to town. Today’s Coal Miners' Heritage Festival and a replica coal mine shaft downtown rekindle the spirit of that era. To supply its steam-powered locomotives with water, the first railroad built a low-water dam on the river. The site is now the Bridgeport Falls Paddling Trails Park, a favorite swimming and fishing spot where paddlers ply nearly six scenic miles of river.