The Northern Woods and Water Route is a 2,400-kilometre (1,500 mi)* route through northern British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. As early as the 1950s community groups came together to establish a northern travel route; this was proposed as the Northern Yellowhead Transportation Route. The Northern Woods and Water Route Association was established in 1974, and encouraged promotion of the route with the promise of an increase in tourist travel. The route was designated in 1974 and is well signed throughout the connector highways. The route starts at Dawson Creek at the British Columbia Spirit River Highway 49 and ends at Winnipeg, Manitoba, running through the northern region of the western provinces. The Northern Woods and Water Route (NWWR) includes connector routes from west to east including British Columbia Highway 49, Alberta Highway 49, AB Hwy 2A, AB Hwy 2, AB Hwy 55, Saskatchewan Highway 55, SK Hwy 9, Manitoba Provincial Road 283, Manitoba Highway 10, MB PTH 5, MB PTH 68, MB PTH 6. The halfway point of the NWWR is approximately at Goodsoil, Saskatchewan. Fur traders and early settlers utilised the rivers and Red River cart roads such as Long Trail until the early 1900s when the railroad and bush planes supplemented travel to this northern boreal transition area. Corduroy roads provided a means for early land vehicles to cross over muskeg and swamp. Horse drawn ploughs filled low areas, settlers hauled gravel and cleared bush for the road ways surveyed along high elevations following lake and river shore lines. Municipalities would grade and gravel roads providing transportation between trading centres. The all weather road arrived alongside of the NWWR association's impetus for a travel and tourism corridor along the northern area of the western provinces.
Different signs on Highway 401' 's collector-express system are utilized to avoid confusion. The express lanes use green signs and the collector lanes use blue. These particular signs are located at The Basketweave