Hiking from Macmillan Pass to MP 170
Ian Reekie, 1997

We did to a portion of the Canol Trail, beginning at the trail's western starting point and being picked up at the hunting lodge at milepost 170. My wife, my cousin and myself made the trip, and spent about ten days on the trail as we did not want to rush it but rather took our time and enjoyed the scenery. We had a great time and plan on getting back there either this year or next year to finish the rest of the hike.

There were a couple of items that did take away from the hike. It was really disappointing to run into hunters with their noisy quads and four-wheel drives on the first few days of the hike. As well, the evidence they left behind of spent shotgun shells, cans, etc. did nothing but reinforce our general opinion of hunters. Fortunately, we only ran into this for the first few days, and the rest of the time we were out we were on our own.

The other disappointing part of the hike was all the debris left over at each camp and pumping station when the project was abandoned. We all agreed that rusted oil drums, wrecked buildings, etc. should not be a part of such a beautiful area of the North and that it should be cleaned up.

We have backpacked and canoed in other parts of Canada including the West Coast Trail as well as numerous trips in Alberta and British Columbia but what was different about this hike is the fact we did not run into any other people for about seven days. Our only wish is that it does not become so popular that changes such as new bridges, shelters, etc. are incorporated into the trail so that more people use it. This hike should be left for experienced backpackers who want to experience a challenging and diverse part of Canada. Careful planning and making sure you are experienced enough to take on a trip like this is what made this trip most appealing to myself.