Winter at Fernie Alpine Resort - More Than Just Skiing

Connecting and enjoying time with friends in the outdoors has never been more important to our well-being as it has since the arrival of the global pandemic in 2020.  

The spring, summer and fall months were filled with camping, hiking, biking, fishing, rafting and river floats, and this has helped to keep our socializing safe and fun. Our small town and resort in the Canadian Rockies are fortunate to have the space and outdoor infrastructure to support all of these activities. Moving into the colder months, the need to socialize outdoors will likely remain a priority. So bundle up, put on a buff (face mask!) and let’s recreate in the snow.

First, the obvious - winter and skiing/snowboarding go hand in hand in Fernie. Whether resort lift-accessed or cat skiing and backcountry is your thing, you will find them available and abundant here. But there are more ways to play in the snow – Nordic skiing (classic and skate), snowshoeing, winter trail running and winter fat biking, to name a few.

Fernie Alpine Resort’s multi-use trail network is a great place to explore these other winter activities. A number of these trails are wide, groomed trails perfect for these recreational pursuits.  

Trail Running (or snowshoeing)
Double Creek Loop (approx. 3km) Difficulty Rating – moderate (blue)

A beautiful ‘singletrack’ treed loop with a great variety of terrain. Access the Double Creek Loop trailhead via Parking Lot #4. After a good uphill, the trail rolls through a forest of Larch and Cedar trees. Look for large burnt-out logs, remnants of the early 1900 fires in the Elk Valley.  

Snowshoeing (or trail running)
Hobbits Trail / FAR Out / Honeybee / Phat Larry’s  
(3 to 5km depending on route) 
Difficulty rating – Hobbits Trail - easy (green),  FAR Out/Eville/Honeybee - moderate (blue), Phat Larry’s - difficult (black).

This beautiful route begins from the base area and gently winds uphill to the bottom of the Boomerang Chair on the wide, groomed Hobbits Trail. For an easy route, turn around and return to the resort base area on the same trail. You can also connect to several fun technical singletrack in this mini trail network – including FAR Out, Phat Larry’s, Honey Bee and Eville. These trails follow the contours of the mountain on moderate, smooth terrain through a forest of Balsam, Hemlocks, and Englemann Spruce.  

Nordic Skiing (classic/skate) and Winter Fat Biking
Silk / Manchuria / Scandia Trails 
(approx. 5.5 to 10.5km) 
Difficulty rating – moderate (blue)

These multi-use trails are great for all activities mentioned in this article, and are dog friendly (please keep your furry friend on a leash). These wide trails are regularly groomed and track-set. Access the trailhead from Parking Lot #4. Starting with a fairly substantial uphill grunt, connect to the Silk/Manchuria/Scandia trails, which are full of rolling hills and surrounded by beautiful forest. With the figure eight route design, you can choose to do the small loop (approx. 5.5km) or the large loop 
(approx. 10.5km).  

Another great option for Nordic skiers is to connect from Fernie Alpine Resort’s trails to the Fernie Nordic Society (FNS) trail network. Accessible via the Hobbits Trail, Nordic skiers can enjoy a variety of wide groomed trails on the FNS trails and then loop back to the resort. Please note that a Fernie Nordic Society day or season pass is required on FNS trails.

Visit page 67 for a map of the Fernie Alpine Resort Mulit-Use Trails.

Wishing everyone a safe and fun winter exploring the outdoors around Fernie!

Karen Pepper is the Marketing and Communities Manager at Fernie Alpine Resort, where she has worked for 19 years.