Calgary and Edmonton Trail

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The Calgary and Edmonton Trail was a land transport route between Fort Edmonton and Fort Calgary in the Northwest Territories.

Several trails south from the fur trade post at Fort Edmonton had existed for some time. The northern portion was traveled by David Thompson in 1800.[1] The more modern trail was blazed by John McDougall in 1873 as far as Morley and extended to Calgary two years later. Development of the trail allowed mail service between Calgary and Edmonton in July 1883.[2]

Name and namesakes[edit]

Alberta Highway 2 is now the main route from Edmonton to Calgary. Most of it bears the name "Queen Elizabeth II Highway", but some sections are named in honour of the old trail, as are other roads leading in the same direction.

Heading south from Edmonton, the trail was called "Calgary Trail". Calgary Trail now refers to the southbound portion of Highway 2 within the boundaries of the city of Edmonton.

Heading north from Calgary, the trail bore the name "Edmonton Trail". That name now refers to a north-south feeder road in Calgary approximately 1 km west of the current Highway 2 and approximately 0.25 km east of Centre Street North. A segment of the old trail through the city of Airdrie is also called Edmonton Trail.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Placenames of Alberta. "The naming along the Calgary - Edmonton Trail". Retrieved 2009-12-24.
  2. ^ Ward, Tom (1975). Cowtown : an album of early Calgary. Calgary: City of Calgary Electric System, McClelland and Stewart West. p. 222. ISBN 0-7712-1012-4.