The New Green
Green can make you feel good. The word conjures up many different ideas for every individual. Could be the verdant green moss at the side of a stream, a leprechaun under a stump, the traffic light signalling to go, a sea turtles belly, a sour lime, or the surrounding soft grass as you lay in a field. All of these references excite the senses, the smell, the feel, the sight, and the sounds.
In the Fernie Trails Alliance circles, green symbolizes “Beginner Trails.” These “green trails” also fulfill the senses, as one moves along cautiously, exploring their personal limits,. There is a lot more to be taken in than just getting a sweat up. A beginner trail user is expanding their horizons as they venture into the unknown, and they should feel comfortable and not intimidated. The Trail Construction and Maintenance Committee of the FTA has been busy over the last couple of years to create just such an environment and experience opportunity.
The addition of the “Learning Loop” at the Aquatic Centre introduces new mountain bike riders to some of the features that they may encounter on any of the Fernie trails. Green switchbacks, green ride overs, green boardwalks (not too high off the ground), even green trees to navigate.
The Ridgemont area has seen the addition of Kiddy UP and Queen V to make the area more accessible. Now if we can just get rid of that Cemetery Bypass hill, and those Boardwalks on Eco Terrorist, the three year old “Greenies” can really relax …
With the past re-route of the root infested Sherwoody steeps, a few more of the discontented can access this cruisey labyrinth. The Trails Alliance is working with BC Parks to see if permission can be granted to build a gentler graded green trail from the Lizard Creek Falls bridge, instead of the slippery grunt that presently gets you up onto the Galloway Green Trails.
The Elk Valley Trans Canada Trail is intended to allow even the most timid to extend their outings into Canada’s forbidding wilderness. Hikers will be pleased to know that their needs were kept in mind when planning this route. Walk to Canmore if you’re feeling energetic.
The Fairy Creek Falls trail is a fun, family favourite where hikers and riders should be able to negotiate from town, the Fairy Creek Pedestrian Bridge, or Tourist Info Centre trailheads. The updated trail signage will be marked this summer with the the eponymous green circles, which indicate a relatively “easy” route to the falls, and back.
We must not forget the Montane Trail network, which has evolved over the last few years, with its many green options that will direct you to the Montane Hut, where soft marshmallows, and “Green Drinks” will make the return trip home so much more enjoyable.
At Fernie Alpine Resort, the Double Creek Trail and Extension loop is a great green rolly (push up a few hills) path through a shady cedar / larch forest, that can be accessed right from the resort “base” parking lot. The thick canopy makes it quite dark in this forest, but look up as it’s dark green above (for the beginners, this should not be attempted when riding).
The Lazy Lizard trail on the Island Lake Property, and Connector in Mt. Fernie Provincial Park has become the go to trail for family outings. With gentle green trail grades, luxuriant green foliage, secret green mushrooms, and of course the green witches’ lichen, this trail sees a wide variety of ages, abilities, and nationalities exploring Cedar Valley’s offerings. As this is the FTA “Green Theme” article, I will not mention how fun Fat Biking and or Snowshoeing this trail in the winter is.
Don’t litter, avoid trails when wet and muddy, and and enjoy the upcoming summer trail season.
Environmental stewardship is one of the Trails Alliance management objectives, so please help us to ensure that the trail network remains sustainable, by making healthy donations of the green bills at our website. fernietrailsalliance.com