Dewdney Trail (Manning Park Sections)
Royal Engineers' Road
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Dewdney Trail (Manning Park Sections), also known as the Royal Engineers' Road in Manning Park, is the portion of the Dewdney Trail between the park's west gate and Snass Creek that was improved by the Royal Engineers, and is still visible in places alongside Highway 3 in E.C. Manning Provincial Park in southwestern British Columbia.
The Dewdney Trail (Manning Park Sections) is significant for its scientific, cultural, and aesthetic values, and particularly for its historical role as the main Canadian trading route over the Cascades from 1861 until motor roads supplanted it in the 1920s.
The Dewdney Trail (Manning Park Sections) is a rare surviving example of the physical infrastructure specified by the Royal Engineers for mule train traffic, particularly its specifications for maximum grade and width. It is also important as an excellent example of dry rock retaining wall technology employed to provide a lasting roadbed with the required width at a grade no steeper than 1 in 12.
The Trail is culturally significant for its association with the British Colonial Office's Columbia Detachment of the Royal Engineers, who were charged with building public works and surveying townsites, and who were particularly instrumental in securing British Colonial Office control of territory and trade in the then-unorganized Cariboo and Southern Interior lands that were later to become British Columbia.
The Dewdney Trail (Manning Park Sections) is important for being representative of all the remnants of trails blazed over the Cascade Divide connecting the Similkameen River valley and the Fraser Valley for trading purposes, including trails that pre-dated European trading trails (for example, Blackeye's Trail, which was used for Coast/Interior trade between First Nations.)
The Trail is important for its associated historic interpretive signage along Highway 3, which is a typical example of the classic green shield-form signage produced by the Province beginning in 1958, the provincial centennial year.
The Trail is of aesthetic value because its visible locations uphill from the present Highway 3 dramatically display the dry rock retaining walls to fine advantage.
Source: Ministry of Environment, BC Parks
Key character-defining elements of the Dewdney Trail (Manning Park Sections) in E.C. Manning Provincial Park include:
-entire route of the Trail within the boundaries of E.C. Manning Provincial Park
-particular sections of Trail visible or easily accessed from Highway 3 in the Sumallo Valley, such as the section directly above the park's West Gate, and the section directly above the roadside pullover at the Stop of Interest sign
-geometry of the roadbed: original 4 foot width, and grade no steeper than 1 in 12
-associated land works, including dry rock retaining walls and excavations
-roadside interpretation, including stop of interest sign next to Highway 3
Province of British Columbia
Park Act, s.5
Provincial Park (Establishment)
1860/01/01 to 1925/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
- Developing Economies
- Technology and Engineering
Function - Category and Type
- Tourist Facility
- Pedestrian Way
- Road or Public Way
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Ministry of Environment, BC Parks
Cross-Reference to Collection