The Elk Rim Trail
Spring is in the air and you are probably eager to hit the trails! April can be a tricky month for weather in Fernie. The roads are a good option this time of year in Fernie or the South Country area. You can find some great options around Baynes Lake, Jaffray, Newgate and Fort Steele.
If you are keen to get some dirt, a solid option is the new Elk Rim Trail, which was completed last June. It’s an easy 30-minute drive from town. Head towards Cranbrook, turning left onto the 93 heading South for about 15km. You will cross the big bridge over the Elk River and climb steeply up the highway. After crossing the Elk River Bridge climb 1.2 kilometres to the top of the south bank and turn right onto a dirt road and across a cattle guard. You will see the parking lot and toilet at the trailhead.
There are a few loops you can put together depending on how long you want to hit the trails for. It’s all pretty mellow with some nice flowy singletrack. There are a couple of nice viewpoints along the way and the signage is great.
An interesting fact is this is a traditional Ktunaxa trail. It was first used by Europeans in 1864 to carry supplies to the gold rush at Wildhorse Creek and smuggle gold back to the US to avoid the 25% BC Tax.
Be sure to check out the latest conditions on Trailforks before you head out. A few reminders on trail etiquette include not riding when it’s muddy, ride through puddles not around, and stay on the trail. Enjoy, and happy spring!
Time: Approx. 1.5 -2 hours
Distance: Approx. 20 km