About hundred guests from the Alberta-BC region gathered on July 17th in Tumbler Ridge to celebrate the official completion of The Monkman Memorial Trail – Hiking Route.
Beaverlodge resident Kreg Alde introduced his idea to build a hiking trail over the Rocky Mountains in 2003. Kreg?s project was based on the route of 1937 when a group of pioneers, led by Alex Monkman, blazed a trail from Beaverlodge to Prince George.
For over five years volunteers from outdoor and historical societies in Alberta and British Columbia worked in a partnership with the District of Tumbler Ridge and BC Parks on this project. With sponsor support, a 65 km trail is now established between Tumbler Ridge and Hobies Cabin on Fontoniko Creek northeast of Prince George, back country hiking through three different zones of vegetation.
Tumbler Ridge has a new tourism attraction that is second to none. The information provided by the Economic Development Officer (EDO) Ray Proulx reflects the direction that will be taken. Ray Proulx said, ?The trail offers an unparalleled hiking experience that will help draw the attention of international travelers, which will help solidify our efforts to establish Tumbler Ridge as a known destination. My department?s goal is to ensure that the trail becomes as famous as the West Coast and Chilkoot trails. At this time our goal is to work with our tenured operators and regional destination marketing organizations to bring this amazing experience to the attention of rest of the world. We would also like to continue working with the project leaders and BC Parks for the continuous evolution and improvement of the trail. ?Right now we?re working with the tenured operators and Northern BC Tourism to garner media attention for the remainder of this summer and for next season. Media coverage is the most effective form of marketing, so we will be placing the emphasis of our time and resources on getting this form of attention. We are also working on capturing footage this season for a mini-documentary that will be completed and distributed in 2009. One of the longer reaching objectives is to work with the local business community to draw the travelers of the trail into the community to utilize our products and service. The only way we will articulate benefits throughout the community from use of the trail is to determine how to best serve the travelers coming to visit us, and then deliver to the best of our ability.?
There also is the Monkman Pass Memorial Trail Driving Route featuring 47 scenic and historical points of interest. Brochures for both routes are available at the Visitor Centre in Tumbler Ridge. Phone 250-242-3123