MORATA completes perimeter trail around Mackenzie “Azan Tunneh”

May 6, 2024

In October of 2023, the Mackenzie Outdoor Route and Trail Association (MORATA) completed a 9 km trail around the community of Mackenzie. The trail is an extension of a 1.3 km trail that was completed in 2020. Prior to the expansion, the shorter trail was very popular among Mackenize residents and MORATA received substantial positive feedback.

Northern Development provided a $100,000 Recreation Infrastructure grant to MORATA to assist in the construction of the trail.

The expanded loop is also a key component of a larger trail network, which connects several existing trails and increases the opportunity for a variety of options for users, with minimal additional infrastructure required. The expansion of this network is part of an initiative to draw tourists, and new residents, to the region through mountain biking, and the development of a world class trail network.

As the trail loops around the community, it allows for equal access to all residents. The completed project is now named Azan Tunneh, with the name being chosen by the Mcleod Lake Indian Band. Azan was a Tse’Khene trapper whose trapline was located in and around Mackenzie. Tunneh means trail in Tse’Khene. The full loop represents 10 km of purpose-built trail or an 11 km continuous loop including roads and sidewalks that connect the sections of the Azan Tunneh together.

“The funding provided by Northern Development Initiative Trust was instrumental in the project’s success,” said Russ Hobbs, president, MORATA. “The trail provides easy access to the natural beauty around Mackenzie, has had health benefits for residents, and is a highly valued asset in the community. Through this project NDIT has once again provided immense value to our northern community.”