Where to explore in Fernie: First and foremost Fernie is a working class town, a community built up around the coal mines. But in the last 10-15 years, Fernie has reinvented itself into a healthy living, outdoor playground. Fernie is surrounded by the Canadian Rockies and because of this the town has adventures in every direction.
When you first get into town, take a drive and explore. Cokato Road lies opposite the Ski Hill but also offers great views of the Three Sisters and Mount Fernie.
A stroll along the Elk River, which meanders its way through the heart of Fernie, is a perfect way to explore the town. A path, partially built on the dyke which protects the town from flooding, is a great way to stretch your legs after a long day on the slopes.
The Derby Day ground offers panoramic views of the Canadian Rockies and is a great spot for watching the sunset. If you’re in town for the September Long Weekend, make sure you check out Demolition Derby in Fernie, hosted for the last 40 years by the Lions Club.
For a short time the Demolition Derby was held down the Coal Creek Road but for me, the best time to visit this area is in the Fall. The colours of the trees are an electric mix of yellows and reds.
Fishing in the summer is the thing to do in Fernie. While in winter Fernie is known as a ski town, in summer time it transforms into ‘Trout Town’. This is the Wigwam River, one of three pristine rivers which flow through the area.
The other two major rivers for fishing are the Bull River and Elk River. This photograph shows Sulphur Creek flowing into the Bull River. Getting into the backcountry in the area around Fernie is a great way to explore.
Which leads me on nicely to one of my favourite ways to explore Fernie. Getting into the wilderness and the backcountry is a must for anyone who wants to explore the area in and around Fernie. With a maze of forest service roads crisscrossing the region, you will always find a quiet and secluded spot. Just remember that some of these roads are still active logging roads and to expect to encounter logging trucks at any time.
Heading to the lake is a Fernie favourite. The summer months can be brutally hot in Fernie and a great way to cool off is load up the truck and head to the lakes. Luckily for us Fernie has a huge number of lakes to choose from. This photograph is from one of my favourite spots, Suzanne Lake.
Lake Koocanusa is the largest lake in the area and incredibly popular during the summer. But despite the number of people who congregate at the lake, you’ll still be able to find a quiet, secluded spot to set up camp under the stars.
Of course what attracted me and many others to Fernie in the first place was the abundance of world class skiing. One must ski spot is the cat-skiing operation at Island Lake Lodge.
Skiing isn’t the only way to explore Fernie in the winter, grab some snowshoes and hike on out to Silver Springs and gaze down at the three lakes from the clifftops.
But of course, skiing in Fernie is the main reason why so many people from around the world flock here. And this view from the top of Polar Peak at Fernie Alpine Resort shows the world what Fernie has to offer.