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Battleford-Swift Current Trail

The Battleford-Swift Current Trail was a vital supply link between two very important geographical regions. First Nations used the route as a supply line between the Saskatchewan and Missouri River systems; merchants used it as one of many overland trading routes in the North-West Territories in the early 1880s. The 192-mile (309 km) trail ran between Fort Battleford and Swift Current, crossing the South Saskatchewan River north of Swift Current. The arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in Swift Current (the closest overland Transportation route to Fort Battleford) in 1883 heightened trail activity: from then on settlers, traders, and government officials began to use it extensively. The North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) used the trail during the North-West Resistance of 1885. A stagecoach was also established, transporting passengers, mail and goods between the two locations. The completion of a rail line from Regina to Prince Albert, via Saskatoon, in 1890 marked the end of the Battleford-Swift Current Trail. The closest overland route to Fort Battleford became Saskatoon, making the trail obsolete.

James Winkel

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