Trails played an important part in the Coast Salish transportation network. Trails were used to link the most remote parts of watersheds, in order to reduce the distances travelled up and downstream. Additionally, trails were used to link areas which required ocean travel and inland water travel, and to reduce the necessity to change boats during a journey or risk travel in water that was not suited for the craft being used.

Trails were important to access various resources that were located in diverse climatic zones -this could include accessing berry patches, such as strawberries, very high in the alpine areas, or various forest plants that required small diversions into the forest from the main trails.

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