Nordic Adventures in Fernie

One of the benefits of living in Fernie is the ease of accessing terrain, and it’s no different with Nordic skiing. Whether you’re into skate or classic, you can reach trails just minutes from any accommodation in town or at the ski hill.

In Town
Difficulty Level – Easy to Moderate

The Fernie Nordic Society sets and maintains tracks for classic and groomed trails at the Fernie Golf and Country Club, as well as on the City of Fernie’s trail system which encircles town. For skate skiing, it is recommended to hit the wider track at the golf course. Otherwise, get onto the trail system at any point and do a loop of town, or add to it by slipping onto the golf course. You must acquire a membership to use these trails, which is easy and inexpensive at www.fernienordic.com. Dogs are not allowed on the golf course trails, in order to keep the trails clean and well groomed. Please use the dyke for skiing with your dog.

Island Lake
Difficulty Level – Moderate to Difficult

Island Lake sets a track and grooms the road leading to their Lodge at the base of the Lizard Range, accessed by driving through the Provincial Park and parking at Island Lake’s lower parking lot. The closer you get to the Lodge, the steeper the climb, but it’s rewarding and offers amazing views. Once at the Lodge, there is an easier track around the lake with a few fun hills. This trail is narrower, so difficult for skate skiers. Plan ahead and enjoy lunch (pre-booked Friday through Sunday) before the adventurous trek back down. Please note: dogs must be leashed or under control as some sections of trail are shared with snowmobiles and snowcats. Visit www.islandlakecatskiing.com for further details.

Fernie Alpine Resort
Difficulty Level – Moderate to Difficult

Offering the Manchuria and Silk Trail along with the Scandia Loop, Fernie Alpine Resort’s trails allow you to shorten, lengthen or change up your loop in multiple ways. The track is very well maintained and probably the best location for skate skiing and a fast-pace classic ski. It is undulating terrain, unlike the flatter options in town or the up-and-down nature of Island Lake. One you’ve reached the resort, stay left and park at parking lot 4. From here you must climb a steep trail (passing the snow-shoe trails) to access the track and groomed road. Visit www.skifernie.com for more information, and see our map section for the Cross Country and Snowshoe map at Fernie Alpine Resort.

For the adventurous – Ridgemont
Difficulty Level – Difficult

Are you more interested in off-track cross-country skiing? If you have wider skis with edges, and are looking for a little excitement, consider trying some of the trails in Ridgemont. We tend to climb up Stumpy, Coal Discovery, Sidewinder and Broken Derailleur, and come down on Ridgemont Road. Pick up a Fernie Mountain Bike Guide at one of the sports stores in town for full details on these trails, or purchase one at www.ferniefix.com. Local’s note: a snowmobile fairy is known to ride the easier trails to pack them down for cross-country skiers. Pure awesome.

For rentals, get in touch with The Gear Hub (250-423-555), Ferne Alpine Resort’s Rental Shop (250-423-4655), The Quest (250-423-9252), or Ski Base (250-423-6464). The Gear Hub and Quest offer both skate and classic styles.