Well Happy New Year to everyone! I realize that I should have written my first-of-the-year post much sooner, but I’ve been suffering from a bit of a writer’s block! I know, I know…me? Speechless? Nothing to say? Sadly it’s true. I think there was a time, back in the day, my family rejoiced when I was speechless; in fact my teachers in school would high five each other in the hallway! Well my friends, you don’t get off that easy, for I have found my ‘writer’s flood’. You are going to enjoy the strange alchemic result of my rekindled creative genius!
Let’s talk about your New Year’s resolutions…what’s that now? You’ve already broken them all? You haven’t started them yet? You didn’t make any this year? Well, that is why I’m here…help is on the way! Best New Year’s resolution ever? VISIT FERNIE! Why should you? Well I’m going to tell you so sit back and enjoy the read!
In a winter wonderland such as Fernie, there is never a dull moment. Whether you downhill ski or snowboard, Nordic ski, snowshoe…perhaps your passion is back country touring or sledding…you’ve come to the right place! With magnificent scenery and legendary snow this really is a little piece of heaven waiting just for you!
Now I’ve talked a lot about the snow here in Fernie….whether it’s downhill skiing or snowboarding at Fernie Alpine Resort, catskiing or boarding at Island Lake Lodge or Fernie Wilderness Adventures…it’s all epic! So let’s look a little more into cross country skiing, showshoeing and back country touring.
Fernie’s cross country trail system has expanded over the last few years into over 50kms of picturesque, well maintained groomed trails thanks to Fernie Alpine Resort, Island Lake and the Fernie Nordic Society. They range from easy to more difficult so whether it’s a fun family outing or a full-on fitness workout you’re looking for, Fernie offers it all! There are about 12 km of groomed tracks available on the Fernie Golf Course. There is little change of elevation on these trails so it is optimal for beginner skiers. The start of the trails is at the Clubhouse of the golf course where you will find ample free parking. The trails are jointly groomed by the Golf Course and by the Nordic Society volunteers on a regular basis. These trails or not dog-friendly. Fernie Alpine Resort grooms two loops….the larger is about 9 kms long but has a bypass at the halfway point. It’s an easy trail but the section from the parking lot to reach the trail head is steep and a little challenging so beginners may want to carry their skis for that part of the trail. These trails are dog-friendly but they must be on a leash. Approximately 25kms of winter wilderness trails await you should you decide to ski to Island Lake Lodge. Once at the lodge there are trails to access as well. Please be aware that you may encounter a Snow Cat ferrying guests, a snowmobile or even a moose. Head west from Fernie on Hwy 3 and turn right at the Island Lake sign. Follow this road for 7kms until you reach the Island Lake parking lot. Once again these trails are dog-friendly but they should be kept on a leash. Wind along the Fernie Dyke aside the mighty Elk River for about 6 kms starting from behind Canadian Tire at Maiden Lake. This trail is not groomed regularly and it is used by hikers, snowshoers and cross country skiers. Dogs are welcome!
Didn’t have a chance to check out the bike trails this past summer? Well here’s your opportunity! The single track trails, covered in soft blankets of white provide a wonderful winter snowshoe experience! Head to Island Lake for a scenic trek around the lake, book a tour at Fernie Alpine Resort or pack a lunch and head out on your own to Mt Fernie, Mt Hosmer or Mt Proctor.
Back country touring in Fernie is phenomenal with unlimited terrain and fresh powder. Completing an avalanche awareness course is highly recommended and of course you should also have the proper gear (peeps, shovel and probe) with knowledge of how to use it prior to heading out to ensure a safe and fun experience. Check in with Fernie’s local experts at any of the ski shops. They can give you up-to-date advice on where to go and help you choose any gear you may be missing.
So…how ‘bout sledding? Another big draw to Fernie and the Elk Valley is snowmobiling! The whole area has some incredible terrain ranging from easy, family friendly groomed trails to expert back country adrenalin! Head to the Coal Creek staging area to get started on your larger-than-life adventure! Rentals and guided tours are available whether you want to go for a couple of hours or a full day. Check out Weir Boondocking Backcountry Snowmobile Clinics, Fernie Snowmobile Association, GearHub or Ghostrider Motorsports for more information on tours and rentals.
Whew! I’m done! How exhausting! Just look at all the amazing activities there are to try out in Fernie and I’ve only scratched the surface. I haven’t even talked about the plethora of restaurants, bars, pubs and all their nightly events; nor have I mentioned the local artisan world of which there is plenty.
Come for a visit to Fernie…make it your renewed New Year’s resolution….you’ll never regret it! We have winter Deals & Packages galore to suit everyone’s needs! Whether you want an executive vacation home, a private chalet, a cozy log cabin or a condo suite, we can help make your resolution come true! So don’t delay – call now! Oh wait…I’m about to take a ski break cuz it is dumping snow…leave a message and I’ll call you when I finish blasting down my two favourite runs - Easter Bowl and Snake Ridge. Woohoo…….
Let us take care of your vacation – it’s what we do!
Photo Credit: Juliana Dare