Sunday, August 1, 2010

Coquihalla Brigade Trail


For those of you who want to hike the Coquihalla brigade trail this summer, it is now open.
You can get more information by googling "Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning," at http://www.hopemountain.org/.
Go to Trails; click on "HBC Brigade Trail Restoration," and you will see photos of the restored brigade trail there.

One of the group of people that cleared the eastern part of the trail was the Backcountry Horsemen, and that probably means that you can find someone who can take you on horseback over that section of the trail.
(If any Tulameen horsemen read this posting, you can comment to give readers a list of guest ranches who give guided rides over the trail.)
I will eventually hike the trail, and I think I would start from the east end and ride much of the trail on horseback.
As you saw a few postings ago, the west end is occasionally quite steep and more dangerous for the horses.
But for hikers, the Peers Creek end is easily accessible from the Coquihalla Highway, and is only a few miles from Hope, B.C.

The photograph above was taken at Fort Langley and shows the types of tools -- the axes and hoes -- that Natives and fur trade employees used to build the original trails.
I'm sure the men who cleared the modern trail used power saws to buck and fall the larger trees on the trailbed.
As we venture over the modern-day trails we will have to pause to admire and respect the Sto:lo Natives and Metis employees for the hard labour of creating the old brigade trails.

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