The most common method of travel by the Indians originally, in what is now Becker County, was by water, by means of birch bark canoes. There were formerly plain, well beaten canoe or portage trails between all the principal lakes of the country. The Otter Tail, Pelican, Buffalo and Shell Rivers were navigable for canoes, in many places of considerable length, and these added to the many lakes in the county, made travel by water much easier and more feasible than by land. It is true that portages had to be made quite frequently, but their loads of freight were light and as one person could easily carry a canoe over his head from one lake to another, the time and labor required to make one of these portages was but little more than a sort of recreation, or rest from the monotony of paddling the canoe.
The following is from Neil's History of Minnesota:
After awhile ponies came into use, and still later the Red River cart was introduced, the first of which I have any knowledge being made by Alexander Henry in the fall of 1802, and in which goods were brought from Red River to Red Lake.