Ridge Trail Historic District

Various sites, Address is restricted


The Ridge Trail Historic District is a 47.7-acre historic trail system in Pembina and Walsh Counties that follows along a natural escarpment formed by the glacial Lake Agassiz. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. It includes eight separate segments of the rutted oxcart trail that have been preserved for posterity.

These trails were used by the Metis for trade routes in the mid to late 1800s. The trails originally stayed closed to the banks of the Red River, which could only be used when the ground was dry. But with the new improved carts built by the Metis the primary trails were moved out of the Red River Valley onto the beach ridges of ancient Lake Agassiz, where the soil was sandy and less muddy. These trails were connected to a complete Metis trade route stretching from Winnipeg to St. Paul, Minnesota.

Most of the cart trails have long vanished, having been cultivated for many years, but a few remain. The Ridge Trail Historic District in Pembina and Walsh counties was set up to preserve these remnants of the historic oxcart trail.