History of The Red Coat Trail

The Red Coat Trail is a 1,300-kilometre route that approximates the path taken in 1874 by the North-West Mounted Police as they moved across the Canadian West. Since the NWMP’s stated goal was to cut off American whisky traders from trade with the Indians inside Canada, the route lies relatively close to the US border (well south of today’s #1 Trans Canada Highway), where they met with the various First Nations tribes and chiefs, many of which had moved north into Canada to avoid slaughter by the US military on their traditional lands.

In Alberta, between Fort Macleod, and Lethbridge, the Red Coat Trail is now the path followed by the Crowsnest Highway. It crosses the Porcupine Hills, the Coyote Flats, and a ghost town named Pearce.

In Alberta, east of Lethbridge, the trail follows Highways 3, 4, 61, 889, and 501. The route travels south of the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, the highest spot between the Rockies and the Great Lakes

In Saskatchewan, Highway 13 is officially designated as Red Coat Trail. It passes through Shanavon, Assiniboia, Weyburn, and Carlyle.

In Manitoba, it becomes, Highway 2, and The Red Coat Trail is clearly labelled on Manitoba maps, and passes through Souris, Glenboro, Elm Creek and Oak Bluff before hitting the Winnipeg Ring Road #101 as McGillivray Blvd in the city’s southwest which connects right into downtown Winnipeg.