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It was incorporated as a city in 1910. The area around Trail has been inhabited for thousands of years by varying cultures of indigenous peoples. The first European explorers arrived in the region during the 1808 expedition led by Simon Fraser, who travelled up what is now known as the Fraser River from its mouth on the Pacific Ocean to reach present-day Prince George before returning downriver to Fort Alexandria (near present-day Port Douglas). In 1811, David Thompson and his crew became one of only two groups of Europeans to travel overland into what would become British Columbia when they followed a Ktunaxa group northward through part of their territory along Kootenay Lake and then southward along today's Highway 3 towards Kamloops. However, he did not pass through any portion that would later be considered part or all "Trail".