With many hours of sunshine and an abundance of choices for outdoor activities, Fernie has something for everyone.
ATV Trail Riding/Dirt Biking
While Fernie may be big on biking, Elkford is big on ATVing and is home to the only ATV BC affiliated club in the Elk Valley. They have a massive network of trails for all ATV and dirt biking enthusiasts. A map of surrounding trails can be found on their website, elkfordtrails.com
Boating on Lake Koocanusa
Straddling British Columbia and Montana is the stunning reservoir of Lake Koocanusa. It’s no wonder so many flock to this popular spot near Newgate for boating and water sports. Sunshine Houseboats and Marina offers houseboat and sport boat rentals and also have a massive floating waterpark. For prices and reservation details, visit sunshinehouseboats.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 1-877-489-2610.
Pirate Rentals also have surf boats available for rent as well as the very cool Pirate of the Kooc houseboat, more information can be found by visiting piraterentals.ca or calling 306-457-7513 / 306-698-7710.
What better place to spend a night than under the stars? Fernie and surrounding area offers a number of great campgrounds and RV parks.
Fernie is home to one of the deepest caves in Canada, the Bisaro Cave. During a recent exploration, the cave depth was measured at 670 metres, but it’s believed to extend even further! Bisaro Cave can be viewed while exploring Heiko’s Trail. See page 32 to learn more about Heiko’s Trail.
Cliff Jumping at Silver Springs
Silver Springs is a hidden oasis ideal for all sorts of summer fun. Head south on Highway 3 toward Elko before taking a left on River Road, cross the Elk River Bridge and the pull-off is on the right. From there it’s a 10-minute hike up. Explore the first two lakes or loop down to the third. Thrill-seekers can jump from the steep cliffs, while the more cautious can sunbathe on the rocks, float in the turquoise waters or fish for rainbow trout.
Climbing and Bouldering
The natural rock formations around Fernie are chossy and not ideal for climbing, but there are a couple of indoor facilities for climbing enthusiasts. College of the Rockies offers drop-in climbing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. ($7 without rentals and $10 with). They also offer courses, group bookings and private parties. Visit cotr.bc.ca/fernie or call 250-423-4691 to learn more.Evolution Fitness has a rock garden boulder wall and top-rope training centre with 12 to 18 foot high walls. They also offer lessons and private rentals, check their website for a climbing schedule evolutionfernie.com or call 250-423-3344.
Summer is the best time to enjoy fresh, local produce and Fernie is full of amazing vendors. There are numerous markets in the area, so there’s no excuse not to visit one. The Fernie Mountain Market runs on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rotary Park. The Jaffray-Baynes Lake Farmers Market is every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Baynes Lake Community Centre. In Sparwood the Farmers Market is at Titan Park, Friday evenings between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. Browse everything from fresh fruits and vegetables, handmade soaps, organic meats, coffee, food trucks and more!
Golf has always been popular in Fernie, in fact, the Fernie Golf Club just celebrated their 100th anniversary! Enjoy their 18-hole course while surrounded by incredible views of the Rocky Mountains. They also have a driving range, pro-shop and full-service restaurant. Lessons and programs are available as well as regular tournaments and events. Visit Golffernie.com for details and check out page 22 to learn more about Fernie Golf Club.
It’s no secret that hiking is a popular summertime activity, but did you know there are guided hikes available as well? Island Lake Lodge offers both on and off property hikes for a half-day, full day or overnight. Join one of their scheduled hikes or book a private group tour. Visit Islandlakelodge.com for more details. Fernie Alpine Resort also has a number of guided hikes throughout the season, each with a specific theme. Visit Skifernie.com to learn more.
|Photo by Brittany Fischer (Amateur Photographer Contest 2018)|
Want to experience a bird’s eye view of the Rockies? Ascent Helicopters offers chartered flights and their base is conveniently located close to town. Explore the Elk Valley from on high, get dropped off in the backcountry for biking, hiking or fishing, or charter a flight for spectacular wedding photos. For more details visit Ascenthelicopters.ca or call 250-423-1443.
Mining is a huge part of Fernie’s history, so why not learn about the industry? Venture 20 minutes out of town to the Sparwood Visitor Centre on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday before 1:00 p.m. to join in a mine tour for only $10 ($8 for seniors and children). Or travel a bit further to the Elkford Visitor Centre to check out Teck’s Fording River and Greenhills Operations every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Mine tours run in July and August and fill up fast, so reservations are recommended. Contact Sparwood Visitor Centre: 250-425-2423 or Elkford Visitor Centre: 250-865-4015
Take a wild raft ride down the Elk River or Bull River through incredible canyons and breathtaking wilderness. Whether you prefer fast-moving water or a milder, more scenic river ride, there are options for all ages and comfort levels. Trained guides will provide you with all the necessary equipment and knowledge. Rafting trips can be arranged through two great companies: Canyon Raft: canyonraft.com or 1-888-423-7226 or Mountain High Adventures: raftfernie.com or 250-423-5008 / 1-877-423-4555.
|Photo by Ethan Helferty (Amateur Photographer Contest 2018)|
Floating the Elk River is a summer experience you won’t want to miss. Grab a tube or floaty and launch from the North Fernie Bridge by Canadian Tire. Relax as you meander through town, but be sure to jump out at the Dogwood Boat Launch before the river gets rough. Water can often be fast-moving and logjams can occur, so practice caution and be safe.
Shooting and Archery
The Fernie Rod and Gun Club was established in 1899 and has a shooting range located on Coal Creek Road. They offer target shooting, trap shooting and archery for all ages and abilities and even host a number of social nights, events and competitions. Visit ferniergc.com to learn more
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Stand up paddleboarding combines balance and strength with serene surroundings. Paddleboarding courses, lessons, and tours can be booked through the rafting companies and rentals are available from GearHub, Edge of the World and Elevation. With many surrounding lakes and rivers, there’s no shortage of perfect paddling spots. Get enough practice and you may even wind up competing in the annual Paddle Board River Race at the beginning of July.
Fernie is fortunate to boast two different locations for tennis, both with incredible views, at Fernie Alpine Resort and James White Park. There are two courts at Fernie Alpine Resort with equipment rentals available through the nearby Mountain Pantry grocery store and lessons available to book through Guest Services. James White Park has four tennis courts and is free for the public to use. Tennis Fernie offers lessons and camps and also has regular tournaments and events. Visit tennisfernie.com to learn more.
Zipline and Aerial Park
Traverse through the treetops on this exhilarating obstacle course at Fernie Alpine Resort. Make your way across the Rickety Bridge, Picket Fence and Shrinking Islands as the course difficulty gradually increases. Ziplines up to 60 feet above ground add to this thrilling adventure. Tours are three hours long and include safety equipment and supervision by a qualified professional. Tours continue in almost all weather conditions so be sure to check the forecast and dress appropriately. Participants must be a minimum of 4’6” tall and weigh at least 70 pounds, but have no fear – little one’s ages two and up can enjoy the Kids Aerial Playground. For more information or to book, visit skifernie.com or call 250-423-2435 / 1-800-258-7669.
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