Follow This Sign Along the Manitoba U.S. Border on #3 Highway

The Boundary Trail Heritage Region

This narrow strip of southern Manitoba that extends from the Red River to the Saskatchewan border and encompasses all the municipalities adjacent to the U. S. border.

The glorious history of this region stretches back to the prehistoric ocean of the Cretaceous era to the Mound Builders who came following the retreat of the glaciers of the last Ice Age and left their burial and ceremonial mounds throughout the area to mark their passage. Other aboriginal tribes who for untold generations successfully used buffalo jumps to turn herds of bison into food, clothing and shelter followed them.

It is through this area in 1783 Pierre Gaultier de Varennes; better known as the Sierre de La Verendrye traveled on his historic trip to the Mandan country of South Dakota and where his bones are believed to rest.

Before there were roads and railroads, a number of important trails criss-crossed the region. These included various Indian trails, the famed Missouri Trail, the Post Road of the early Mennonite settlers, the Pembina to Fort Garry Trail, the St. Hoe Trail, the St. Louis Fur Trail, the Yellowquill Trail, the Boiler Trail, and eventually the Boundary Commission/NWMP Trail that has become the backbone of the Boundary Trail Heritage Region.

By 1873, the government recognized the need to start opening up the Canadian West for settlement so Her Majesty’s British North America Boundary Commission surveyors were sent to survey and map the official boundary between Canada and the United States. Their efforts helped make it possible for the newly formed North West Mounted Police to complete their historic March West in 1874 to bring law and order to the western frontier.

Few remnants of these original trails exist today but the spirit of those who traveled them is memorialized in the Boundary Commission/North West Mounted Police Commemorative Route which begins at Fort Dufferin (Emerson) and follows Highways 243, 32, 14 and 3 to Pierson at the Saskatchewan, Manitoba Border.

Driving along this route today you will find a progressive, vibrant countryside, its towns and villages exciting hubs of commerce and community activity. Scenery shifts from bountiful farm fields and rolling prairie to surprising vistas of lakes; hills, valleys and wooded parkland.

Tourists are drawn to the region for the enjoyment of our many golf courses, parks, camping facilities, fishing, hunting and boating opportunities, museums, summer festivals and other amusements. Recently a number of local projects have been completed to enhance local heritage sites and points of interest to make them more visible and accessible to visitors, and others are in the process.

Please use this guide to avoid missing anything. If you have any questions, you will find our citizens to be the friendliest and most willing to assist you to make your visit an experience to cherish.

Be sure to contact us if you have a project in our area you would like to see developed.


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