Bike, Run or Snowshoe
When you live in a mountain town that can have winter-like weather from as early as October to as late as April (sometimes May!), not much stops people from going outside to participate in the sports they enjoy.
Which makes it pretty clear why Fat Biking, Trail Running and Snowshoeing have become such popular winter activities in Fernie.
Organizations such as the Fernie Trails Alliance, City of Fernie, Coal Creek Heritage Society and Tourism Fernie met this increase in demand by funding regular trail grooming to allow multi-use access. It is pretty amazing to see the growth in these winter sports year to year. Here are our suggested loops this winter!
Ridgemont is popular for fat biking for many reasons. It is close to town, offers various trails that make up shorter and longer ride options, and it’s great for all levels!
Parking: Fernie Aquatic Centre
Head up Ridgemont Road and take a right alongside Silver Ridge until you reach St. Margaret’s Cemetery. Take a right on Cemetery Bypass. At the top, stay left and make your way to Kiddy Up. Stay left and continue onto Queen V, then take Ecoterrorist to the board walks and onto Ridgemont Road. Ride on the road until you reach Kid’s Stuff, then take a right onto Eric’s Trail. Enjoy this fun descent and continue down Roxy Roller and Space Unicorn. When you reach the road, climb back up to the cemetery and return to the Aquatic Centre.
Mount Fernie Provincial Park is a great place to explore in studded, waterproof running shoes! The stunning cedar forest and Lizard Creek make it quite magical as you connect various trails that have been packed down by volunteers dragging groomers, or other hikers, runners and bikers.
Parking: Mount Fernie Provincial Park Nordic Centre Lot
Begin by running down to the river and crossing the brown bridge across the Lizard Creek. Follow Bridge View Connector, staying left at the first junction until you hit Happy Gilmar. Stay right and climb up the switch backs until you reach the top. Turn right until you hit Old Goat and stay right taking this trail down until it connects with Gorby. Turn right and follow until you meet up with Sherwoody. Turn right and continue until you reach Bridge View Connector and continue the way you came.
With so many users out on the trails, it can be challenging to find fresh snow to snowshoe in! Luckily, there is a lot of terrain out there. A beautiful place to explore is Swine Flu.
Parking: Visitor Information Centre, Hwy 3 Distance: 8km
Starting from the Visitor Centre, take the Swine Flu Access trail. When you reach the double track, continue until you reach the Swine Flu climb. Follow the many switchbacks and signs as you make your way to the beautiful bench and lookout at the top, then descend the swoopy downhill until you reach More Cowbell. Take this until you reach the Swine Flu Climb and return the way you came. Shorter option: Take Mad Cow to Yeddy.
It is definitely a good idea to have Trail Forks on your device for directional purposes. Also, always check conditions before you go, avoid biking or running on groomed trails when conditions are very soft, and make sure to tell someone where you are going. Ensure you have the proper equipment and sufficient clothing to keep you warm. And consider getting your Trails Pass – fernietrailsalliance.com.
Photo by Vanessa Croome