Canol Heritage Trail – NT

The Northwest Territories is known for its extensive system of 34 park areas maintained by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI). Many of these parks are accessible to nearby communities, highways, waterways and tour operations. The ITI is working to create more connections between parks and communities to enhance NWT’s tourism sector. 

The Canol Heritage Trail in the Mackenzie Mountains runs from the Mackenzie River to the Yukon Border. The trail was originally built in 1942 to provide fossil fuels from the Norman Wells oil fields to support the war effort. When originally constructed it included 929 km of 100 mm and 150 mm oil pipeline and road works. Today, the trail has remnants of the original construction with 335 km available for recreational purposes.

Canol trail aerial shot

In 2014, ITI retained Dillon to assess Twitya river crossing options for the trail. A reaction ferry system was selected that includes two sets of ropes – one tethered between a pontoon boat and a high tensile rope spanning the river, and the second for the user to use to pull the empty boat across the river – connected to a temporary tripod structure installed and removed in the Spring and Fall, respectively. The prototype crossing was installed in 2016.

Project Details

Project Partner: Government of Northwest Territories
Business Unit: Community Infrastructure
Service Offering: Parks and Public Spaces