The largest community in the Elk Valley is also the oldest. Explore Fernie’s historic downtown for its treasure of 100 year old brick and stone architecture. Set in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, wilderness adventure begins right at the edge of town.
Renowned as a winter playground for the adventurous and snow-shy alike, Fernie provides ample opportunity for winter activity and fun. Ski and snowboard by chairlift, snowcat or cross-country trail with 7 distinct areas to discover. Explore the network of forest trails that become destinations for snowshoeing and fat-biking in the winter months; Fernie is your destination for adventure from December to April.
In the summer, the sparkling waters of the Elk River winds its way through the Elk Valley, offering fly-fishing and float trips on the calm stretches in town and wild whitewater rafting in the lower canyon. Hiking ranges from easy 2 hour waterfall strolls to the full day iconic Heiko’s Trail across mountain passes. Mountain biking is well served with over 100 trails and a Bike Park; plus there is an Aerial Park, Dirt Jump Park and much more to discover.
Things to See and Do in Fernie
Arts, Culture & History
Explore Fernie’s fascinating history and wealth of heritage buildings. Stop by the Fernie Museum and explore Fernie’s storied past including legends and myths like the tale of the Ghostrider. Be sure to visit The Arts Station and the Arts Coop for your fill of local art. The Fernie Heritage Library offers many services and programs, and resides in the restored Post Office building of 1909.
Experience the ultimate at Island Lake Catskiing, a destination resort with sumptuous accommodation, gourmet dining and incredible skiing serviced by private snowcat on a multi-day all-inclusive vacation. Fernie Wilderness Adventures offers convenient single day tours.
Five distinct areas around Fernie provide plenty of opportunities for self-powered ski adventures. Choose from daily-groomed trails at Fernie Alpine Resort, Old Growth Forest Trails at the Fernie Nordic Centre, the Montane trail system and Island Lake Lodge, or spectacular views from the groomed trails at the golf course.
Events & Festivals
From a month of festive fun in December through to Fernival in April, winter is packed with great events. Freeski events, Retro Ski Days, Rail Jams, Film Festivals, Griz Days Winter Festival, Ghostrider Hockey Games, the Winter Wheezer Mountain Duathlon, Craft Fairs and more. The summer is filled with the Wapiti Music Festival, Fernie Lucky 7’s Mountain Bike Race, Sunday Summer Social and Market, Wednesday evening concerts and more.
Fat-biking and Snowshoeing
Fernie’s network of mountain biking and hiking trails stay busy in the winter as locals and visitors jump on their fat-tire bikes and snowshoes. Try Ridgemont or the groomed trails at Montane for fun adventures the whole family will love. Guided Tours are available.
Fernie Alpine Resort
A world-class snowsport resort during the winter with 142 runs on five vast alpine bowls. Fernie’s legendary resort has sublimely groomed beginner runs, long blues and gorgeous glading, plus plenty of steep and deep adventures. Experience a mountain playground in the summer with a Bike Park, Tree-Top Aerial playground, Rippin’ Zipline chairlift rides, hiking tours and Interpretive Centre to explore.
Fernie Golf & Country Club
Rated one of BC’s most scenic and playable courses. Hit the links at this 18-hole, par 70, 6,556 yard course.
Hiking & Nature Walks
A mix of easy to advanced trails include the Old Growth Trail, Fairy Creek Falls and Mountain Lake’s Trail. Enjoy magnificent Rocky Mountain views at every turn. Island Lake Lodge is a mountain paradise minutes from town. Come for the day or stay the night. Enjoy spectacular hikes and walks, fine dining, the spa and a luxury lodge.
Historic Downtown & Culinary Delights
Complete with historic brick buildings, downtown Fernie offers unique shopping and dining experiences. Enjoy a world of chocolate, cheese, coffee, contemporary dining, Latin cuisine, sushi and much more.
Indoor Winter Activities
Try your hand at curling at a weekly drop-in session at the Fernie Curling Club, check out a Ghostrider Hockey game or go ice skating at a regular open-skate session.
Fernie’s extensive trail system features beginner to advanced riding around town and at the Fernie Alpine Resort Bike Park. The Dirt Jump Park is also a hit for all ages. Mountain bike coaching, instruction and guiding is available on the Elk Valley Trails.
The pristine Elk River is famous for fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, kayaking and scenic river floats. The views and wildlife are sure to please.
Well known as a ‘must do’ adventure destination for sledders, Fernie has over 50 km (30 mi) of groomed trails at Rolling Hills accessed from the Coal Creek Staging area, complete with 2 warming huts and plenty of big mountain snowfields. Other popular areas include Ram Creek and Hartley Lake Road areas.
The Fernie Legend: William Fernie, founder of the city, met a tribe of Indians and noted the Chieftan’s daughter wearing a necklace of coal stones. The Indian Chief agreed to reveal the source of the coal upon Fernie’s agreement to marry his daughter. William Fernie agreed, but went back on his promise. The Indian princess therefore laid a curse upon the valley in which Fernie is located. This resulted in the 1901 explosion in the Coal Creek Mine, 1904 and 1908 fire destroying the town and the 1906 flood. Finally in 1964, an elaborate and dramatic ceremony was held to lift the curse on Fernie.