Peace River Wilderness Trail
Type of Trail:
Historical wilderness trail on Arctic-bound trunk of the Trans Canada Trail. Be prepared to pack in all supplies and water, and pack out garbage.As bears and wolves are in the area, food and water must be stored to bear-proof standards in campsites. Use not recommended during hunting season.
The Old Peace River Trail and adjacent Athabasca River were core corridors by foot, horse and canoe for First Nations people. Early Euro-Canadian explorers, traders, settlers and gold seekers followed these routes. This section of the Trail runs through public wilderness land administered by Alberta-Pacific Forestries Inc. This company provides ongoing support to the development of the Trans Canada Trail through this area.
Primal boreal forest. Trail generally follows the bench at the top of the river valley, about 100 metres above the river. Trail descends into a number of deep creek valleys and provides varied landscape and topography. Much of the valley wall is intact; old growth boreal forest includes White Spruce, Jack Pine, Paper Birch and Poplar. The trail winds through a variety of mixed boreal communities – wetlands with Tamarack and Black Spruce, sandy uplands with Jack Pine and blueberries, and varied-age stands of spruce-poplar mixes.
Natural surface (grasses, etc.). With the exception of steeper creek valleys, trail generally consists of gently rolling terrain with corduroy present in some muskeg and low areas. Bridges are in place. Industrial activities are ongoing in general area (cut lines), and care should be taken to remain on the signed trail route. Trail use during hunting season is not advised.
New signage, complete with Trans Canada Trail markers, is now in place.
Some parking available at trail access points. Three small campsites with picnic shelter, toilet, tables and fire pit complete at the trailhead near Tomato Creek and at Quinn Creek. Other toilet facilities are located along the route.
Points of Interest:
Spectacular wilderness area with interesting native flora and fauna and views of the Athabasca River. Moose, elk, deer, wolves, black bear and most boreal mammals are abundant. Bald eagles and other raptors make their permanent home in this area. Trail itself was part of one of the principal routes attempted by gold seekers headed to the Klondike in 1898-99 and was a primary settlement path followed by pioneering farming families to the Peace River country until approximately 1920, when it was superceded by the railway. Remnant historical sites located along trail include gravesites and the Tomato Creek stopping house (developed by the Goodwins in 1910), portrayed in the movie, “Silence of the North.”
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