Summer students in Fort Smith spent an August weekend hiking down to the nearby Mountain Portage Rapids – with a Google camera strapped to their backs.
Wood Buffalo National Park brought a Google Street View camera to shoot some of its own recently resurfaced trails, while allowing the Town of Fort Smith use of the camera at the same time.
“We were able to take it down to Mountain Portage and showcase what we think is one of our main tourism destinations in the region,” said Diane Seals, the Town’s economic development officer.
The Slave River Paddlefest was taking place when the students arrived at the rapids. Seals is excited the event will be highlighted on Google Maps when the footage is eventually uploaded by Google.
The Town says it was not given a timeline by Google for the footage to be made available online, but Seals did say this will be the first time Google Street View is available in the South Slave.
While the Mountain Portage trail and rapids are technically just south of the NWT border in Alberta, they are accessible by road through Fort Smith.
The Town is already discussing bringing the camera back to film more of Fort Smith and the surrounding area, but there are no concrete plans as yet.
“I think part of the thinking behind it is because we’re a unique destination, it gives visitors and opportunity to plan before they come,” said Seals.