The Potential of Connectivity and Ben Emmett
The Fernie Trails Alliance (FTA) is working hard on Fernie’s potential as a world class trail network. We currently have over 300 kilometres of trails plus the trail network at Fernie Alpine Resort (FAR). Our trails have a variety of terrain and are suitable for a wide range of ages and abilities.
But how can we grow and improve our current network and strive to be a better community for locals and visitors? One example is working with FAR to improve connectivity of trails between Mount Fernie Provincial Park and the ski hill. Currently Ben Emmett connects to the hill but watch for further trail connectivity. In addition, one of our community event organisers is hosting its annual event at FAR, celebrating ten years of the Fernie Tears & Gears September 7. This is the first time this trail running and mountain biking event will take place here.
Further improvements are happening on the Trans Canada Trail/ Elk Valley Trail. The FTA has hired Backcountry Trail Experts to conduct trail reconstruction and maintenance of 1km of this trail from Loose Change intersection northward. As well, signage will be completed in this area. The project should be completed this month.
This summer also watch for work on Fairy Creek/Mount Proctor Trail and Heiko’s Trail. A new picnic table will be installed at Fairy Creek Falls. In addition, brush work and debris removal and improvements to route marking on Mount Proctor Trail is planned. On Heiko’s Trail, ladders will be replaced, a toilet will be installed and the trail will be widened to improve accessibility.
Finally the Fernie Valley Pathway 2020 project is moving along nicely. This is a multi-use, paved pathway that connects the communities between Fernie and FAR. A number of partners are involved including the City of Fernie, The Regional District of the East Kootenay, BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Columbia Basin Trust, Fernie Alpine Resort, Fernie Snow Valley Community Association, BC Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and Tourism Fernie. Recently, The City of Fernie received $70,540 from the BC Bike Grant for a paved pathway connecting Fairy Creek Bridge and Fernie Visitor Centre. This project ties in with pathway project.
Thank you to all of our funders, volunteers, landowners and community supporters to help us grow and reach our true potential. As we continue to work on enhancing the connectivity within Fernie, take advantage of a great option already on hand - Ben Emmett, and access the amenities available at FAR this summer.
Distance: 5.5km One Way
Time: 1 Hour
Starting from the Provincial Park, take bridge across the Lizard Creek and head up Sherwood/Bridge View Connector. Stay left, continuing along Sherwoody and connecting to Ben Emmet. Enjoy a meandering trail following alongside the Nordic Trails until it reaches Boom Creek, then take Hobbits Trail to the base of the ski hill. From here, you can buy a pass and ride the lift for some fun descents on the Elk Chair, cross over to enjoy the Cross Country Loop - Double Creek, or have a coffee and snack before heading back! Consider climbing View Trail to Mega Hurtz/Old Goat/Happy Gilmar for a fun descent on the way home.