Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation
Box 1348 Tumbler Ridge, BC V0C 2W0
Contact: Dr Charles Helm, Vice President – 250 242
May 5, 2006
The Monkman Pass Memorial Trail, spearheaded by Wolverine
Nordic and Mountain Society in conjunction with the Tumbler
Ridge Museum Foundation, is rapidly becoming a reality. Designed
to celebrate the Peace Region’s tangible history while
taking visitors through some of the finest scenery on the North
American continent, the trail will roughly follow the route
that Alex Monkman and his heroic band of pioneers established
in the 1930s.
Monkman Lake in 1937 - from Ted Chambers'
They were looking for an export route for their
grain and, faced with government intransigence, decided to
build a road over the Rocky Mountains themselves. Only World
War II put an end to their efforts, but not before they had
built a road much of the way, coaxed a vehicle over the mountains,
and carried a symbolic bag of grain to Prince George.
Brooks Falls will become a favourite stop on the Monkman Memorial
Trail hiking route.
Photo credit James Whiddon.
The Memorial Trail will link and bind the Peace
Regions of Alberta and British Columbia, and will provide another
internationally marketable activity for the region’s
tourist industry. The first section will be a driving tour
from Beaverlodge to Kinuseo Falls via Tumbler Ridge, with over
thirty points of interest along the way. Most of these are
Monkman-related, but there will be additional features like
dinosaur sites, short hiking trails, canoe routes and mountain
biking routes. There are even some portions of the original
Monkman Highway that can still be walked, over old bridges,
to the old cabins.
The cabins at Kruger's Flats will
be a new hiking destination along part of the old Monkman
credit Ruth Walkley
The second section will be the hiking trail,
from Kinuseo Falls past The Cascades and Monkman Lake, into
the alpine at Monkman Tarns, then down Fontoniko Creek to Hobi’s
Cabin on the Herrick River. From there it will be possible
to be picked up by jet boat and end up in Prince George or
McBride. This will be a four or five day trail with magnificent
scenery along the way. BC Parks is a big supporter of this
project and is co-ordinating the trail building in Monkman
Provincial Park this summer, where a six member Conservation
Corps team will cut the route. In addition, a WNMS crew will
be hard at work at The Cascades for the third successive year,
refining access to this magnificent destination.
District of Tumbler Ridge and County of Grande
Prairie have both provided financial support, as have Burlington
Resources, EnCana, Talisman Energy, and Veritas. This enables
helicopter access, signage and the production of brochures.
Work on the driving tour section has already begun with the
development of a short trail near the headwaters of Flatbed
Creek to enable a new canoe route.
WNMS and TRMF volunteers will be developing the
driving tour section. Advertisements will be out soon for the
work crew positions for the hiking trail section that needs
to be cut this year. The crew will work from mid June through
late August, and the positions are suitable for Grade 12 graduates
or university students. The crew will usually be flown in for
ten-day stretches, separated by four-day breaks. Interested
applicants can contact the TRENDS office in Tumbler Ridge for