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Cariboo Wagon Road Being Cleared And Restored

An important section of the original Cariboo Wagon Road between Stanley and Barkerville will be re-open to hikers and bikers this Labour Day Weekend.

Richard Wright, Project Manager of New Pathways to Gold Cariboo Wagon Road  Restoration Project, said it had become virtually impassable over the last several years.

With fallen trees every few meters in some places, potholes the size of lakes, and washouts which left great gashes full of rocks, the road was almost obliterated along much of its length.

Wright added this particular area was one of the last long intact sections of the Cariboo Wagon Road that has quite a history

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“It was used from 1865 until 1886 when that section was bypassed and we started taking the road down through Devil’s Canyon through Wells and then Barkerville”.

The Cariboo Wagon Road between Stanley and Bakerville has been cleared and restored by the Ministry of Forest, Lands, and Natural Resources crew along with Ian MacDonald.

Wright says at the beginning it was going to take 3 years to complete this 20-kilometer section but he believes it will be more like 5 years.

“We’re talking several hundred kilometers and a lot of access issue because some the old Cariboo road has become people’s driveways or it disappeared under a hay field so where it’s not practical to restore the road we will be endeavoring to find another route around it”.

The Cariboo Wagon Road between Stanley and Barkerville had completely disappeared until the 1980’s when Friends of Barkerville put two crews on it for two summers and opened it up again.

Funding for the Cariboo Wagon Restoration Project came from The Friends of Barkerville and Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources who donated ten thousand dollars each and five thousand from New Pathways to Gold Society.

The Cariboo Wagon Road was used for a while for the Dog Sled Run and cross-country skiers have also used it.

Wright is hoping that they can generate some of that interest again and come with a plan for keeping it open.

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