I was asked this question in response to my blog entry from the 23rd.
"Can you tell us a little more about all these trails. Who made them, when & why. Sounds like there is some group that is involved with them. Who maintains them, why, etc?"
Most of the trails we use in the area are ones that we put in and maintain, as well as alot of gravel and dirt roads.
However, we do utilize a piece of the 'Athabasca Landing Trail' - and I love to talk about it! The 'Athabasca Landing Trail' was established in 1875 by the Hudson Bay Company. It ran 161 kilometers (about 100 miles) from Edmonton to Athabasca Landing (now just known as Athabasca) and was key for the role it played in the fur trade and Klondike Gold Rush. For 40 years it was a very busy route hooking up the North Saskatchewan and Athabasca rivers.
In 1912 the railway came to Athabasca (the old bed actually runs along the east border of our land) and drastically cut down traffic on the Landing Trail.
Now much of the trail is overgrown and lost, but the section we run is a part of the original trail and I am always honored to be traveling it.
Here are some links that talk briefly about the trail;
and the amazing story of Billy Loutit
A number of years back the section of the trail we travel became part of the 'Trans Canada Trail' project -
In 2000 there was a 'water relay' carrying water from each of the oceans (Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic) along the trail to a fountain in Ottawa. The dogs and I carried water that originated in the Arctic Ocean out of Perryvale and a few miles down the trail before handing it off to horseback riders that took it on the next leg of it's journey.
The group that I met on the road the other day was with the Alberta TrailNet Society which deals with Alberta trail systems, including the Trans Canada Trail.
Hope that answers the question!