Fernie is rapidly becoming one of BC’s most popular sledding destinations.
With over 160km of maintained snowmobile trails serving as gateways to ve distinct riding areas, Fernie offers terrain for every kind of rider. The Fernie Snowmobile Association (FSA) has been the organized voice for sledding in the region since 1990 and provides grooming services, three backcountry warming cabins, trail maps and signage, staging area facilities, as well as several events through the season. Annual memberships are available for $185 (primary member), or $85 for each additional member in the household. Youth and Senior rates are available as well. Day passes can be purchased at staging areas at $25 for an adult day pass or $10 for youth 14 and under.
The FSA hosts several popular events through the season including Family Rides and BBQ’s, Snowmobile Avalanche Awareness Days, the Corbin Vintage Sled Ride, the Fernie snow drags and more. Information on grooming schedules and event details can be found on the FSA Website at Ferniesnowmobile.com.
All sledders in B.C. are required to adhere to the Off-Road Vehicle act which stipulates that every snowmobile must have vehicle registration, insurance, and all riders must wear helmets. In addition, riders must be aware of special restrictions or closures which are detailed in the RDEK Access Management Maps.
All backcountry users should be equipped with emergency equipment including an avalanche transceiver, shovel, and probe as well as a method of emergency communication such as a SPOT or inReach Device. There is no cell phone reception in most of Fernie’s riding areas. In the event of an emergency, Search and Rescue can be activated by contacting the RCMP via 911. The Rolling Hills cabin is also equipped with an emergency radio. Leave a trip plan with friends or family, pack sufficient equipment to survive an unintended night outdoors, and request emergency assistance early to allow for sufficient daylight hours to conduct a rescue if needed.
A wide variety of snowmobile services are available in town. Sleds, equipment, and rentals are available at Ghostrider Motorsports. Elk Valley Snow Shepherds offers guide services, rentals, clinics, and avalanche training. Weir Boondocking provides riding clinics and instruction. Avalanche airbag refills are available at Gearhub Sports.
If it is your first time riding in Fernie, there are many novice rides available to familiarize yourself with the terrain or suitable for those new to the sport. Both the Coal Creek and Morrissey staging areas offer approximately 16 km of groomed trail to reach either the Rolling Hills or brand new Wranglers warming cabins. Both cabins offer open meadows nearby for riders to play in and can be linked together via various groomed loop route options.