Written by: Ken Favrholdt, BA, MA (Geography, UBC)
Much is written about the Whoop-Up Trail, the famous 320 kilometre route from Fort Benton, Montana to Fort Macleod used by whisky traders between 1869 and 1874.
However, there was also another important route used during this period. The Riplinger Trail was an Indigenous trail across traditional Blackfoot territory and home of the Blood tribe. Part of the trail in Montana it is believed, was part of the Old North Trail, the ancient migration route—the so-called ice-free corridor—along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The Riplinger Trail was named after John Riplinger of the Northwestern Fur Company who built a post on the Marias River in Montana in 1869-70.