The original Dewdney Trail was a 400 km trail route extending from Hope to Galbraith's Ferry on the Kootenay River. The trail was routed and constructed under the supervision of Edgar DEWDNEY, a civil engineer appointed by Frederick Seymour, the governor of the colony of BC, in April 1865. The purpose of the trail was to provide a route to the BC Interior in order for the British to maintain control over the growing gold-mining interests in the region. The trail was constructed in a 6-month period; however, many sections were in rough condition. With the advent of other roads and the shift in mining interests to the Columbia Valley, the Dewdney Trail soon lost its significance. By the 1880s the section through the West Kootenays was impassable.
Today, one of the better preserved sections of the trail is a 36 km segment extending from Christina Lake to Rossland. The BC government, working in co-operation with private landowners over whose property 50% of the trail crosses, have reopened the Dewdney Trail. It remains a scenic and historically significant tribute to the heritage of our country.