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Grease Trails

The most researched trail system in British Columbia is the system of grease trails that existed to move eulachon oil from the coastal areas into the mountainous interior of British Columbia. The most famous example of a grease trail is the Mackenzie Heritage Trail , which links Bella Coola to Quesnel. This trail was the original link between the Nuxalk , Chilcotin , and Carrier people.

Many of these trails have been incorporated into the existing transportation network of British Columbia, as early wagon trails followed existing grease trails, and rail and highway networks, as we know them today, were built on top of existing wagon trails. The trade interests of the interior and coastal peoples were not always the same as the interests of those building the wagon trails, and, consequently, many of these grease trails still exist in their original form.

The Fraser Valley provides a perfect example of canoe and trail transportation systems being used hand in hand. The diversity of resources which are found at various elevations along or surrounding the Fraser River required a variety of means to access them. Trails allowed the Stó:lō access to many areas that were not accessible by canoe.

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