Charles Helm

Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark



In 1914 Samuel Prescott Fay led a party of five men and twenty horses on a scientific expedition from Jasper to Hudson’s Hope. In doing so he passed through what is now the Tumbler Ridge area.


On September 20th, 1914, descending what came to be known as the Murray River, his party unexpectedly came across a huge waterfall. Writing in his journal, Fay provided the first known written description of Kinuseo Falls:


There were some big falls roaring ahead and a canyon below… they had a drop of about 250 feet and were very magnificent. Such a thing as a big falls was certainly an unexpected sight. They are fine enough if they were accessible, to be a sight such as tourists would travel a long distance to see.


Fay took the first known photographs of the falls, and named them “Kinuseo” (Cree for fish) for the large numbers of trout he observed above and below the falls.


Downstream from Kinuseo Falls the Fay party found meat racks, tipi poles, boats, a paddle, a log cache, and campsites. There was also a blaze on a tree with Cree writing and the name Issidore, likely referring to Issidore Gladu, a prominent resident of Kelly Lake.


Exactly a century later, on September 20th, 2014, members of the Tumbler Ridge Aspiring Geopark committee are in New Brunswick at the Global Geoparks Network conference, to hear if their bid to become the second Global Geopark in North America (and the first in the west) has been successful. Kinuseo Falls forms one of the important proposed Geosites.


TA lot has happened in a century.