Manitoba Heritage Council Commemorative Plaques

Boundary Commission Trail

Boundary Commission Trail
(Courtesy of the Archives of Manitoba)
Installed 1992
Manitoba Travel Information Center
PTH 75

In 1872, the British and American governments appointed the North American Boundary Commission to survey the Forty-ninth Parallel, the boundary between Canada and the United States, from Lake of the Woods to the summit of the Rocky Mountains. A road was laid for the surveying parties from a base camp at Fort Dufferin, near Emerson, west to the present town of Cartwright. From there it followed an established trail long used by Native peoples and fur traders. Together, these two segments became known as the Boundary Commission Trail.

The North West Mounted Police followed this trail when they trekked west in 1874 to establish a police presence in Western Canada. Settlers also used the trail and established many villages along the way. Part of the trail was later known as the Post Road and then became the main road of the Mennonite West Reserve. The development of rail lines and road systems in the late 1880s led to the decline of this centuries old trail network.