Bucks, Tracks & Collaboration for Local Winter Trail Grooming

There are three new pieces of grooming equipment plowing around Fernie’s non-motorized trails this winter thanks to a federal grant secured by Tourism Fernie.

As part of the Winter Trails and Grooming Collaborative, Tourism Fernie applied for, and was successful in being granted $45,000 from PacifiCan’s Tourism Relief Fund.

The money has gone towards purchasing three pieces of equipment, two snowmobiles and a ‘trail tamer’, to improve the grooming of winter trails around Fernie, with each to be operated by the various trails groups already providing the experience, structure, and volunteers to do the work. An additional $5,000 from Fernie’s local Canadian Tire store owner Angus McDonald helped secured final purchase of the trail tamer.

The trail tamer is a unique piece of singletrack grooming equipment that trained volunteers can operate more easily than snowmobile grooming equipment. The trail tamer will be a shared tool between local trail groups, the Fernie Trails Alliance (FTA), the Coal Creek Heritage Society (CCHS) that manage the trails in Montane and Fernie Ridge (aka Ridgemont), and the Fernie Fatbiker’s group to groom more trails, faster.

The two Ski-Doo snowmobiles were sourced by the FTA and CCHS, and each will take official ownership of one each for their grooming needs. All grooming by FTA and CCHS is done by volunteers.

Melanie Wrigglesworth, Executive Director of the FTA said that the collaborative was fantastic, and the new equipment would help them hugely.

Winter Trails Collaborative with new Trail Tamer - Top image (L-R): Tim Cooper (volunteer groomer), Pat Gilmar (Volunteer Groomer/Coal Creek Heritage Society), Jikke Gyorki (Tourism Fernie), Angus McDonald (Owner Canadian Tire), Dan Savage (Fernie Fatbike Club), Margaret McDonald (Owner Canadian Tire), Melanie Wigglesworth (Fernie Trails Alliance), Brett Logan (City of Fernie), Rick Wiess (Coal Creek Heritage Society), Rainer Korn (Volunteer Groomer). Image credits: Scott Tibballs