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Woods Trail - Hiking

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Why choose a trail at Woods Trail?

The Red River Trails were a network of ox cart routes connecting the Red River Colony (the "Selkirk Settlement") and Fort Garry in British North America with the head of navigation on the Mississippi River in the United States. These trade routes ran from the location of present-day Winnipeg in the Canadian province of Manitoba across the international border and by a variety of routes across what is now the eastern part of North Dakota and western and central Minnesota to Mendota and Saint Paul, Minnesota on the Mississippi. Travellers began to use the trails by the 1820s, with the heaviest use from the 1840s to the early 1870s, when they were superseded by railways. Until then, these cartways provided the most efficient means of transportation between the isolated Red River Colony and the outside world. They gave the Selkirk colonists and their neighbours, the Métis people, an outlet for their furs and a source of supplies other than the Hudson's Bay Company, which was unable to enforce its monopoly in the face of the competition that used the trails. Free traders, independent of the Hudson's Bay Company and outside its jurisdiction, developed extensive commerce with the United States, making Saint Paul the principal entrepôt and link to the outside world for the Selkirk Settlement. The trade developed by and along the trails connecting Fort Garry with Saint Paul stimulated commerce, contributed to the settlement of Minnesota and North Dakota in the United States, and accelerated the settlement of Canada to the west of the rugged barrier known as the Canadian Shield. For a time, this cross-border trade even threatened Canada's control of its western territories. The threat diminished after completion of transcontinental trade routes both north and south of the border, and the transportation corridor through which the trails once ran declined in importance. That corridor has now seen a resurgence of traffic, carried by more modern means of transport than the crude ox carts that once travelled the Red River Trails.

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Rate & open hour

Access fee $ 0.00
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38.8954 38.8954

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