The Turtle and the Serpent

Important Pathways of Turtle Mountain

  1. the mytholigical route of the Turtle-and-the-Serpent struggle, particularly the Hero's Path from Devil's Lake, ND along US Highways 2 and 3; through the International Peace Garden; north along Manitoba Highway 10 and then up the Turtle's Back terrain feature (located at the Lake William area of Turtle Mountain Provincial Park).
  2. the natural highway formed by glacial eskers and moraines which connects southern North Dakota with Turtle Mountain (and was probably the main Neolithic route into the area).
  3. the Knife River Trade Route (as the most ancient provable route) from the Knife River Quarries along the aforesaid moraine/esker route northwards to Boissevain and Turtle Mountain.
  4. the Turtle Mountain Buffalo Herd cycle, which forms a circle between Turle Mountain and the Missouri Escarpment.
  5. the Mandan Trail, roughly connecting the Escarpment through the Buffalo Herd, to link up with the old Knife River Trade dispersion routes.
  6. the War-Roads and Peace-Roads designating approved traditional approaches to Turtle Mountain.
  7. La Verendrye and Alexander Henry the Younger route which follow (mostly) a Peace Road from the Red River Valley to the Mandan Villages by passing around the northern side of Turtle Mountain.
  8. David Thompson surveys (which tend to follow all of the old trade routes).
  9. Smuggling Trails, generally infiltrating the heavy bush and valleys of Turtle Mountain beginning with horses and moving to alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, and lately, farm fertilizer.
  10. Dakota Refugee Routes (1861, 1876, and 1891) which pass on either side of Turtle Mountain as well as through it.
  11. Boundary Commission Trail, forming a lattice-work across the prairies from east to west, which incidentally intersects the old Medicine Line.
  12. the Mounties March West, which follows the main route of the Boundary Commission Trail, mostly drivable along Highway 3.
  13. the Railway Era, which follows the most ancient trails and buffalo routes as the paths of least resistance.
  14. Modern Highways, which are superimposed on all of the above, frequently preserving previous pathways.

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