Fort-to-Fort Trail Connects Past with Present

Langley Advance - Friday, August 08, 2008

Each year, thousands of visitors from around the world visit the Fort Langley National Historic Site to see what life in western Canada was like in the mid-1800s.

But the Fort that now stands on Mavis Avenue is not the structure that was originally built by the Hudson's Bay Company.

The first Fort was located on Allard Crescent, in what is now Derby Reach National Park, and is marked by a cairn to indicate its location.

Thanks to a major project completed in 2001, the site of the old and the present structures can be accessed through the Fort-to-Fort Trail.

Township Mayor Kurt Alberts, who was a major supporter of the trail, said interest in the past plays a large role in Langley's success in the present.

"The history is very significant," he said. "It is where B.C. started. It is a very important part of our economy."

Alberts said that heritage plays a significant role in Langley's cultural tourism industry.

The Fort-to-Fort Trail was an initiative proposed by the Fort Langley Economic Enhancement Committee to help attract people to the village. The project was a decade-and-a-half in the making, as it took several years to acquire the necessary land.

The trail, which accommodates walkers, joggers, cyclists, and those in wheelchairs, cost about $314,000 to complete, and was officially opened in September 2001.