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I love to go a-wandering,
Along the mountain trail,
And as I go, I love to sing,
My Camelback full of ale…
Oh wait! Wrong words….water….it’s full of water! The ale is for après hike, sitting in the sun on one of Fernie’s many patios. So let’s go for a hike first! Fernie is a hiker’s haven…..so many to choose from that sometimes the summer just doesn’t seem long enough. Last summer I was lucky enough to spend a number of days on the trails and I have decided to share with you 5 trails that stand out – some family friendly and some a little more adventurous and challenging.
Castle Mountain: Prepare yourself for a 4 – 6 hour round trip (also used for mountain biking) with spectacular views of our beautiful valley once at the top. There are 2 ways to access the trail, either from River Road or from Cokato Road, so you can actually go up and back down on 2 separate trails.
Old Growth Trail: Very family friendly and only a 1 hour round trip. Rain or shine, the giant ancient cedars canopy you as you make your way to Island Lake Lodge. Stop and grab some lunch on the famous Bear Lodge deck before you wind your way back down or head out on another of Island Lake’s diverse and well maintained trails.
Mt Hosmer: Plan on using up a day to explore the full two part hike to the summit of this spectacular peak - home to our legendary Ghostrider. There are some switchbacks, steep hills and scrambles but worth it once atop this magnificent mountain. Watch for mountain goats!
Mt Fernie: The easiest access is just off the power line above Alpine Trails/Parkland Terrace. This hike is approximately 3 hours and can be a tad scrambly towards the top, but there are benches strategically placed at amazing viewpoints and the view from the top is absolutely awesome! The trail meets up with the notorious Mountain Lakes Trail aka Heiko’s Trail which brings you to Island Lake Road just below the lodge and I will be honest, I’ve not done this latter one yet but it is definitely on my bucket list!
Lizard Lake: Accessed via Island Lake’s lower parking lot, Lizard Lake although a relatively short hike gains vertical fairly quickly. It leads to a lake found just below the peaks of the Lizard Range. There is a rough game trail above the lake if you want to get to the top - it becomes fairly challenging - but if you like bushwhacking, loose rock, snow and complicated terrain (which all seem to be criteria when hiking with my sister Sue) then all the power to you. The sea of wildflowers and the view of Lake Koocanusa will be your reward…you may even spot a few mountain goats!
Well there you have it…some great trails to choose from. Now for the après hike info….I seem to be good at this part …my top 5 Fernie patio picks:
Bear Lodge Deck at Island Lake Lodge – Sunshine, Sangria & Smoked Cod Pasta
Bridge Bistro – Half Chicken and Rib Dinner
The Clubhouse at Fernie Golf and Country Club – Clubhouse Sandwich & Daily Drink Special
Kelsey’s at Fernie Alpine Resort – Hit it on a Thursday after the race series and enjoy half price wings
The Curry Bowl – Sit rooftop and enjoy an ice cold Stella and a tantalizing Mango/Shrimp Curry
Once you’ve hiked til your legs are jelly and you’ve filled your belly come stay with us at Fernie Lodging Company! Check out our Summer Savings on our accommodations which include cabins, condos, chalets and resort homes.
Love Fernie in the Summer!