Trails Walk 2017

  • Posted on: 10 October 2017
  • By: kennsk

350 km in 18 days: Walking the Swift Current - Battleford Trail
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"Getting to know the landscape by walking through it was a powerfully intimate experience. This might be hard to explain to someone who hasn’t participated in a walk of this kind, but when you walk through a place, you engage with it using all of your senses."

The SHFS sponsored a trek along the route of the historic trail, Aug. 3 to 20, 2017. It was organized and led by SHFS Board member, Hugh Henry. Nine people walked most or all of the 350 km (217 miles) and an additional eleven walked between a half day and three days.

Public presentations on the trail history were held at Kyle, Fiske, Biggar and Cando. Local folks were invited to share their knowledge and stories as well. About 130 people attended these programs.

Read the full trail walk report here.

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"You don’t just see the landscape, the way you might through the windshield of your car; you hear the birds and the wind, you smell the sage, you feel the dust and the heat of the sun. Moreover, you experience place with your body as you walk. A hill isn’t just a hill; it’s something you feel in your legs and back as you ascend or descend."

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“The walk gave me a chance to think about the events of 1885. That history is still hot, still controversial, especially around Battleford. And thinking about the different users of the Trail—the soldiers marching to Fort Battleford, for instance, or the Métis freighters who brought the Trail into being—helped me realize that the stark divisions between the ways that different groups view that history have their roots in the events of that history, in the events of the 1870s and 1880s, and that those events continue to shape our ways of seeing each other.”

Pictured at left: Dallas Roan, Traditional Dancer, at the closing event for the Walk.


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"I’ve lived in Saskatchewan for almost 20 years, but my life in Regina has given me few opportunities to make connections with people in rural areas of the province...Hearing the stories of ranchers and farmers was an important part of the walk for me."


The Walk in the News, Radio, TV, and Social Media
Blogs
Matthew Anderson, Condordia University somethinggrand.ca
Ken Wilson, University of Regina Reading and Walking

TV
Southwest TV News (August 11)

Radio
The walk was featured on CBC Radio's Morning Edition (August 3) as well as Golden West Radio (August 29).

Newspapers
"Trail walk to take place from Swift Current to Battleford" (Prairie Post, July 21)
"Trail Walk from Swift Current to Battleford" (West Central Online, August 3)
"Group walking historic trail from Swift Current to Fort Battleford" (CBC News, August 4)
"Walk retracing historical Swift Current – Battleford Trail route" (Southwest Booster, August 10)
"Historic trail travelers stop in Cando, Battleford" (Battlefords News-Optimist, August 23)
Group Finishes Trail Hike from Swift Current to Battleford (Swift Current Online, August 30)

Here is a promotional video for the trail walk! Check back in the future for more videos of the walk itself!



View the 2017 Trail Walk Itinerary.

To support the walk with a donation, contact our office.

Daily Trail Walk Maps:

PLEASE NOTE: The maps indicate the approximate location of the Swift Current - Battleford Trail in relation to the route of the walk. The Trail ruts are not visible since the majority of the land has been cultivated for more than 100 years. Under no circumstances should private property be accessed without the permission of landowners.

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August 3: Day One, 14 Miles

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August 4: Day Two, 11 Miles

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August 5: Day Three, 15 Miles

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August 6: Day Four, 13 Miles

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August 7: Day Five, 11 Miles

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August 8: Day Six, 14 Miles

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August 9: Day Seven, 14 Miles

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August 10: Day Eight, 10 Miles

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August 11 & 12: Day Nine & Ten, 15 Miles

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August 13: Day Eleven, 15 Miles

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August 14: Day Twelve, 13 Miles

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August 15: Day Thirteen, 14 Miles

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August 16: Day Fourteen, 13 Miles

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August 17: Day Fifteen, 13 Miles

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August 18: Day Sixteen, 13 Miles

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August 19: Day Seventeen, 12 Miles

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August 20: Day Eighteen, 5 Miles