The ultimate backroad? The Alexander MacKenzie Heritage Trail is a top contender. Also known as the Nuxalk-Carrier Route, the Blackwater Trail, or simply the MacKenzie Trail. The trail is a 420 km long overland route between Quesnel and Bello Coola, British Columbia and is named after the explorer, you guessed it, Alexander Mackenzie. In the 18th century, MacKenzie embarked on his trek from Montreal to the Pacific Ocean. When he could not traverse via the Fraser River anymore, local First Nations guided him along what would become the overland MacKenzie Trail. He reached the Pacific Ocean on July 20, 1793. It was named an official heritage trail by the Heritage Conservation Act in 1987.
That’s where the Expedition Overland team comes in. I mentioned these guys recently in a blog post and how Joe and I went through all the episodes and series in a weekend. The team had previously attempted to drive and map the MacKenzie trail however were not successful due being generally unprepared and only made it 40 km in before needing to turn around. I may add that to the average person they would have appeared perhaps over prepared. However the team was tackling a trail that had been overgrown for more than a couple decades, had endured many forest fires, and had expanding swamp lands.
On a quest of redemption the Expedition Overland team set out again to this time conquer the MacKenzie trail, successfully mapping it and reaching Bella Coola from Quesnel. The three-part series can be found on their website. Below I have linked the three parts and the trailer. It is absolutely worth a watch, especially if you enjoy off-roading, mud, and chainsaws.
Expedition Overland MacKenzie Trail series