Hope Mountain Centre received some good news recently. Federal funding has been awarded for completion of the “Hudson’s Bay Company Heritage Trail,” which was established in 1849, from Hope to Tulameen.
The Government of Canada announced $10 million in Budget 2014 for the expansion and improvement of snowmobile and recreation trails across the country, administered under the National Recreational Trails Program (NRTP.) Hope Mountain Centre is one of several B.C. non-profits that has received trail funding after applying to the NRTP.
“We’re very excited to see this project completed in summer, 2015”, said Kelly Pearce, program director with the Hope Mountain Centre. “Our contractors and volunteers have already restored 55 kilometres of this historic trail and the new federal funding will enable us to complete the remaining 20 kilometres needed to connect the towns of Hope and Tulameen.”
The 166-year-old trail is presently used for multi-day hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. When completed, the HBC Trail will offer travelers a continuous 75-kilometre wilderness route across the Cascades, uninterrupted by highways and towns.
“It’s a beautiful mountain landscape to pass through,” said Pearce. “The trail’s human history really adds to the experience.”
Historic interpretive signs along the route help to bring the trail’s history back to life.
“Men and horses died on the trail and their stories are part of the trail’s character,” said Pearce.
The HBC Trail played a key role in the early development of British Columbia and Canada. Also called the “Brigade Trail” it was used by the Hudson’s Bay Company from 1849 to 1860 to transport valuable furs and equipment using large brigades of horses and men.
Fort Hope was built in 1848 to serve the HBC Trail. It is legally designated as a Heritage Trail by the Province of BC, protected by a 200-metre-wide buffer.
Hope Mountain Centre will be hiring a crew to complete the trail this summer, and their tasks will include the construction of three new campsites along the route. Crew members will be expected to work hard and camp in the back country for several days at a time. For more information please contact Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org before May 8th, or phone 604-869-3745.