Winter Play Starts Outside

Put your snowsuit on and get out there! The season for playing outdoors is here and Fernie’s mild temperatures, dry fluffy snow and easily accessible trails and sledding hills make outdoor play a breeze. On my way to work downtown, I pass by École Isabella Dicken Elementary School, and Fernie City Hall and the Courthouse Grounds where the Fernie Academy students spend their recess. I don’t know if it’s the vibrancy of the brightly coloured snowsuits against the shocking white snow or the rosy cheeks or the fact that they have to keep moving to stay warm, but it certainly looks like those kids have more fun outside in the winter than they do in the warmer months. I hope there’s plenty of hot chocolate waiting for them when they get home each day because they certainly earn it!

From the Dicken’s Community Christmas Party at the Library, to Griz Kids Family Scavenger Hunts at Fernie Alpine Resort to the Christmas Day Skate at the Fernie Memorial Arena, there were endless options for the whole family to spend some quality time together over the past few weeks while many of us enjoyed time off work and school. For those who worked even harder than usual, I hope the extra tips and the fact that you’re now enjoying more time off while the rest of us go back to work made up for the extra hours over the festive season!

With the arrival of January came the #Ferniestreak organized by the Fernie Trails Alliance, Stag Leap Running Co, Fernie Mountain Bike Club, Fernie Nordic Society, City of Fernie and Fernie Fix, and I’m not sure if anyone really anticipated what a huge hit it would be. (Although perhaps in retrospect I shouldn’t be surprised, this is Fernie after all.) Every single day in January saw hundreds of people hitting the Nordic and snowshoe trails or just taking the time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air for a quick walk. I’ll admit to not making it out there every day but it was definitely a great incentive to get out on those days when I might otherwise have found something cozier to do indoors.

On January 7 I dropped by Fernie Distillers to pick up a copy of Terry Nelson’s new Fernie Area Trails and Plant Compendium to help me keep the momentum going and discover new trails this year. Amazingly, it’s been many years since Fernie had a printed hiking guidebook and this new volume with its sturdy pages, rounded corners, colour coded layout and colourful photos on every page is designed to be a companion piece that will hold up well in your backpack and is sure to be a firm favourite for everyone looking to play outdoors this year.

Whether it’s a stroll on the downtown sidewalks, Nordic skiing to Island Lake Lodge, snowshoeing to Fairy Creek Falls or a snowball fight with the kids, make sure you get out there this winter and enjoy Fernie in all its winter beauty. See you on the trails!