Spuzzum First Nation Chief Jim Hobart unveiled the new Tikwalus Heritage Trail sign at the trailhead last Friday in the Fraser Canyon.

Restored heritage trail opens in Fraser Canyon

Tikwalus Heritage Trail is located north of Alexandra Bridge Provincial Park

The Tikwalus Heritage Trail officially opened last Friday in the Fraser Canyon.

Canadian senators Lillian Quan Dyck and Vivienne Poy joined Spuzzum First Nation, New Pathways to Gold Society, and the Hope Mountain Centre to celebrate the completion of the $98,000 project to restore the 12-kilometre loop on Lake Mountain. The trailhead is located one kilometre north of Alexandra Bridge on Highway 1.

The project is a part of New Pathways Heritage Trails Program, which is provincially funded by the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Investment. It is also federally supported by Western Economic Diversification, Canadian Heritage, and National Trails Coalition.

Improvements to the Tikwalus Heritage Trail include a refurbished campsite, six new geocache locations, and the installation of eight interpretive signs showcasing the historical influence of the route.

“Through this project we’ve been able to repatriate the history and significance of this trail to the Nlaka’pamux Nation, and Spuzzum First Nation in particular, and to illustrate how the Hudson’s Bay Company fits in as a small part of a much bigger story in the development of the province as we know it today,” said Michael Klassen, an archeologist with Klahanee Heritage Research.

The Nlaka’pamux First Nation traveled the trail through the Fraser Canyon for thousands of years.  It was used for hunting, trapping, plant gathering, and as a safe route that bypassed the sheer rock canyons at Hell’s Gate.

In 1946, the Oregon Treaty forced the Hudson’s Bay Company to look for an alternative route to the Pacific. Chief trader Alexander Caulfield Anderson enlisted the First Nations guides to show him the Tikwalus Heritage Trail in June 1847. The company expanded the trail into a “horse portage”  and in 1848 sent the annual brigade down the rugged trail. Lack of food for the horses and the difficult water crossings resulted in 70 horses and 22 valuable packs being lost. The HBC  abandoned the trail in favour of a route between Hope and Princeton.

A decade after the fur trade disaster, more than 30,000 gold seekers arrived in the Fraser Canyon  and the trail was used to get pack trains from Spuzzum to Boston Bar. By 1863, the Cariboo Wagon Road was built and replaced with the Tikwalus Heritage Trail.

Upgrades to the trail are part of a larger restoration project for Alexandra Bridge Provincial Park. The next stage will focus on the Highway 1 pullout and include a revamped information kiosk, new picnic tables, wheelchair accessible washrooms, enhanced interpretive signs and trail upgrades. Repairs to Alexandra Bridge are also in the works.

Built for automobiles in 1926, the current bridge replaced the original wagon bridge of 1863. The structure requires repairs to bring it up to current building standards capable of carrying maintenance vehicles. Deterioration of cement and caps on the bridge towers that hold the cables in place specially need to be addressed. Terry Raymond, co-chair of New Pathways, said the recent assessment released by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure noted that the bridge is safe to walk across but requires work in order to protect and preserve the structure. The repairs are estimated to cost $5-9 million.

 

Just Posted

Snow prayers answered as Manning Park ski hill opens Friday

Ski hill will be open seven days a week starting Dec. 14, and cross-country trails as well

Fleeing driver picks fight with Chilliwack police dog, loses

Good dog ‘Griff’ also locates large quantity of what police believe to be crystal meth in Abbotsford

UPDATE: Heavy rainfall, strong winds in forecast for Lower Mainland

Heavy rains, snow expected till Friday morning

Hope rescue crew remove man pinned in semi-truck on Highway 3

Tuesday night rescue was swift, with the man removed safely from the truck within an hour and a half

DFO confirms that investigation of fish habitat destruction in the Fraser River is underway

Conservation and Protection reps ordered Herrling and Carey Island owners to take corrective action

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

Vancouver police make arrest in hit and run that killed skateboarder

Charges stem from a two-year investigation into the April 17 death of 30-year-old Ryan Barron

5 to start your day

Powerful winds anticipated in Lower Mainland, Chilliwack company facing charges in chicken abuse case and more

Increase in downed power lines in B.C., how to stay safe

BC Hydro study finds a third of British Columbians may be putting themselves at risk

Woman dies after being struck by bus in Burnaby

RCMP officers from the traffic and collision teams are investigating

Judge sets bail at $2.5 million in 1987 slaying of B.C. couple

William Talbott II, 55, is charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder

EU leaders vow to press on with ‘no-deal’ Brexit plans

European Union leaders have offered Theresa May sympathy but no promises, as the British prime minister seeks a lifeline.

Powerful winds set to hit Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island

The agency says winds in coastal areas will strengthen up to 70 kilometres an hour before the front moves inland and gusts reach 90 kilometres an hour.

Mandatory victim surcharge cruel and unusual punishment, top court rules

Stephen Harper’s Conservative government made the charges mandatory in 2013.

Most Read