Explorers have reached the end of the Gold Rush Trail, arriving at the largest heritage site in Western North America and a National Historic Site of Canada. On August 17, 1862, English prospector Billy Barker “struck the lead”, a trail of gold underground. In the first day alone, Barker brought 60 ounces of gold to the surface and it’s estimated that Barker’s mine produced 37,500 ounces of gold, worth about 60 million dollars. The ensuing gold frenzy turned Barkerville into a centre for supplies and entertainment as miners moved into the area in droves. Visitors still come to the historic site in droves to meet many colourful characters from Barkerville’s past including Judge Begbie, known as “the hanging judge”, and watch as he strikes fear into the hearts of historic criminals. The site also allows visitors to watch gold rush theatre, see an authentic Cornish Waterwheel, pan for gold, visit Chinatown, go to school 1800s-style and visit the 140+ historic buildings and displays.