For months, Amy Newman hiked and biked along the Cariboo Waggon Road, ground-truthing the route with Richard Wright and taking notes and pictures along the way. Now she’s assembled the definitive guide to the Cariboo Waggon Road (CWR) for those who want to walk or ride this historic B.C. heritage route.
Pathway to Gold: A Guide for Travellers to the Cariboo Waggon Road is now available online on the New Pathways to Gold Society website in three chapters. The three PDFs cover the CWR route from Lillooet to 150 Mile. Newman weaves a rich narrative of stories along the road, including Indigenous, Fur Trade, Gold Rush and contemporary tales.
“This really was a labour of love and went way beyond what I thought it would encompass,” says Newman, Cariboo Waggon Road Restoration Project Assistant.
“To be able to capture some of the incredible narrative of this route, from Indigenous memories to the Gold Rush to right now, down to seeing the birds and flowers and wildlife along this spectacular route was a transformative experience.”
The guide is an invaluable online resource that can also be printed off by hikers, cyclists and others. With further funding, the guide will be extended all the way to Barkerville.
Pathway to Gold has been produced as part of the Cariboo Waggon Road Restoration Project (CWRRP), a partnership between the New Pathways to Gold Society (NPTGS), Cariboo Regional District, District of 100 Mile House, Village of Clinton, BC Parks, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC. The project received $54,550 for its initial phase from the BC Rural Dividend Program in 2019.
“Amy’s attention to detail shines through in these documents,” says Wright, CWRRP Leader.
“We hope people will enjoy the incredible visitor experience along this route in a safe, responsible manner and we know this lays the groundwork for restoring this iconic heritage transportation route as well as articulating its history in the post-pandemic era.”
In addition to Newman’s detailed guide, the CWRRP has produced a series of videos that show the route’s current condition and the potential for improvements. The project has identified eleven priority sections from Clinton to Barkerville that can be restored and interpreted to give visitors from B.C. and elsewhere unique experiences.
“This guide is the tip of the Cariboo Waggon Road Restoration Project iceberg,” says NPTGS Co-Chair Terry Raymond.
“This initial phase focused mainly on Clinton to 127 Mile. But the road traverses 650 kilometers of rugged terrain from Yale in the south to Barkerville in the north. We want to keep on going until as much of this historic route as possible is identified and restored as a public asset.”
NPTGS Indigenous Co-Chair Cheryl Chapman says the guide and the CWRRP underscore the Multicultural nature of the building of the road on ancient First Nations trade routes.
“Indigenous People worked side by side with Chinese workers as well as gold seekers from around the globe to enhance this route for the new travellers,” says Chapman.
“Every kilometre has a story that stretches back 10,000 years right up to today. Amy has captured many of those stories in this guide.”
NPTGS is a non-profit organization committed to developing local economies in the Hope to Barkerville corridor through heritage tourism development, Indigenous reconciliation and Multiculturalism. NPTGS gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.