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Dewdney Trail (Manning Park Sections)

Hope, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1941/12/31

Dewdney Trail, Manning Park; Ministry of Environment, BC Parks, 2010
trail and interpretive plaque
Dewdney Trail, Manning Park; Ministry of Environment, BC Parks, 2010
trail in winter
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Other Name(s)

Dewdney Trail (Manning Park Sections)
Royal Engineers' Road

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2011/02/24

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.

Heritage Value

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

Character-Defining Elements

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



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Province of British Columbia

Recognition Statute

Park Act, s.5

Recognition Type

Provincial Park (Establishment)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1860/01/01 to 1925/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Developing Economies
Technology and Engineering
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Tourist Facility
Pedestrian Way


Road or Public Way

Architect / Designer



Royal Engineers

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Ministry of Environment, BC Parks

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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