Manitoba Historical Society
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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Russell Trail (RM of Riding Mountain West)

A sign in the Rural Municipality of Riding Mountain West marks a point on the Russell Trail.

In 1886, the terminus of the Manitoba and Northwestern Railway at Russell was the closest disembarking point for settlers bound for the Shell River - Dauphin country. By 1889, when the rush of settlers to Dauphin country was very great, and the arduous trail through the Riding Mountains difficult to travel, the Manitoba government hired T. A. Burrows to construct roads to open northwestern Manitoba.

Between 1891 and 1892, Burrows built a road northeast from Russell to Dauphin, known as the Russell-Dauphin Colonization Road and, locally, as the Russell Trail. Until 1897, when the railway reached Dauphin, this road and the Burrows Trail, which was built east of the Riding Mountains along the Arden Ridge, were the main routes into Dauphin country. Many of the Ukrainian settlers who settled between Grandview and Dauphin used the Russell Trail to reach their homesteads.

The Russell Trail ran from Fort Ellice in the south, through Binscarth and Millwood, and connected with the Pelly Trail north of Russell. It was used until 1903 when the Canadian Northern Railway line extended to Roblin from Dauphin.

Russell Trail marker

Russell Trail marker (June 2012)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N50.98514, W101.11741
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Russell Trail Monument (RM of Shellmouth-Boulton)


This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 13 February 2021

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