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The Canol Heritage Trail

Introduction: The Canol Project: Oil for Victory

    Northwest Territories Tourism summarizes the Canol Heritage Trail this way: "There's hiking, and then there's the Canol. Possibly North America's most rigorous backpacking trail, this 355-kilometre trek follows the route of a defunct military road that once transected the Mackenzie Mountains. Tackling it is an exercise in self-sufficiency and endurance: Most hikers require three weeks to make it to Norman Wells, carrying food, survival gear and an inflatable raft to cross numerous swift, glacier-fed rivers."

    While the three-week time is debatable, there's no question that this is a trail like few others in North America. While work is being done on the trail, much of it is rough in the extreme. Listed below are some photojournals by people who have done it. They are listed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent first.

Canol Heritage Trail
A 7-day crossing by Paul Burbidge and 3 friends on fat bikes in July 2018. It has great photos and trip/trail details.

Canol Doc Project
An 11-day crossing by "caitdub" on bikes in July 2017.

The Canol Heritage Trail (NWT)
This photojournal by Iohan Gue records a 10-day crossing by bike in August 2016. It has great photos and trail details.

Backpacking the Canol Heritage Trail
This site details a backpacking trip by Steve Queen, Dave Cobb and Roberta Cobb from August 9-22, 1998.

Trekking the Secret Trail
Superb recent photos, but no trail information.