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A Portage is a way or path by land at an interruption in a water route. Duringthe fur trade era until the beginning of the 20th century explorers, furtraders, voyageurs and natives all traveled via water routes (rivers) across NorthAmerica. When there was a land break between two different water systems, theseearly travelers would have to "portage" or carry their cargo and boator canoe by foot across land to the next waterway. This was very hard work and the men were already very tired from their journey. On a long portage voyageurswould often use packhorses to carry heavier cargo.