Fort Qu'Appelle - Touchwood Hills Trail Provincial Historic Site
Lipton RM 217, Saskatchewan, S0G, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Fort Qu'Appelle - Touchwood Hills Trail Provincial Historic Site comprises a .13 hectare parcel of land adjacent to Highway 35 north of the Qu'Appelle Valley and the Town of Fort Qu'Appelle. The site features a short segment of remnant cart track preserved in a small patch of native prairie.
The heritage value of the Fort Qu'Appelle - Touchwood Hills Trail Provincial Historic Site lies in its association with the early transportation and communication networks of the Canadian West. Initially, Europeans explored the continent's interior via its waterways. As trading posts and settlements multiplied, overland transportation became increasingly important. Although heavily travelled, the early trails were usually little more than rough tracks rutted by the traffic of horse- and ox-drawn wagons and carts.
The route of the Fort Qu’Appelle-Touchwood Hills Trail was likely first used by First Nations and Métis people travelling between the Fishing Lakes and the Touchwood Hills. During the last half of the nineteenth century, the trail carried traffic between Hudson’s Bay Company posts in the Touchwood Hills and the Company's Fort Qu'Appelle post . In 1882, a segment of the Dominion Telegraph was constructed alongside the trail. For a time, the trail was an important overland link between the Canadian Pacific Railway station at Qu’Appelle and the Carlton Trail at Touchwood. Notable travellers on the trail during this period were General Frederick Middleton and his column of militia on their march to Batoche during the North-West Resistance of 1885.
The importance of western Canada's trail system diminished with the coming of railways and, eventually, automobiles and roads. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the once vital trails had largely fallen into disuse or were used only for local travel. Most disappeared under the plough, with only scattered remnants such as the Fort Qu'Appelle - Touchwood Hills Trail Provincial Historic Site existing today as reminders of a bygone era of transportation.
Province of Saskatchewan, Order in Council 870/86, August 21, 1986.
The heritage value of the Fort Qu'Appelle - Touchwood Hills Trail Provincial Historic Site resides in the following character-defining elements:
-those elements that identify the site as a segment of a former cart and wagon trail, including the remnant wheel ruts and small tract of undisturbed native prairie;
-the site’s location on the historic travel route between Fort Qu’Appelle and the Touchwood Hills.
Government of Saskatchewan
Parks Act, s. 7
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Communications and Transportation
Function - Category and Type
- Road or Public Way
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Conservation Branch,
Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport,
3211 Albert Street,
Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 5W6
Cross-Reference to Collection