Hiking in Fernie
Going for a hike in Fernie is one of the simplest and most inexpensive ways to experience the natural beauty of the community. It will get you out in the fresh air and enjoying the surrounding mountain trails. Trail options for hiking in Fernie range from gentle strolls on the City trails to full-day adventures along the ridges and peaks visible from town.
If you are looking for an easy walk, or perhaps have someone with mobility issues, the City Dyke trail is a mostly packed earth trail, with a few paved sections. The trail follows the dyke from the north end of town along the golf course, to the southern end of town in James White Park. It can be made into a loop by joining up with The Great Trail section that follows Old Stumpy. Another fantastic short easy walk is the Old Cottonwood Forest Loop by Morrissey. This is the oldest known cottonwood grove in the world and features trees that are 10 metres in circumference.
Island Lake Lodge
For fans of large trees and fantastic hiking, Island Lake Lodge offers a variety of trails. The Rail Trail, Old Growth Trail, and Fir trail are all moderate hikes in and amongst ancient old-growth forests. Hikers looking to gain a little more elevation should definitely visit the Spineback Trail, and the alpine loop, Goldilocks.
Any avid hiker visiting Fernie must allocate time to tackle Heiko’s Trail. This trail was recently renamed to honour Heiko Socher, the man who almost single-handedly built this rugged hike. It travels through wild backcountry terrain, and he built most of it during his 60s and 70s! The highest peak in the region, the Middle Sister of the iconic Three Sisters just north of town, can be accessed as a side trip along this trail. If you like stunning views, it is well worth the extra effort. This trail requires logistical support, and you will need to arrange shuttles, or vehicle pick up and drop off, as it is a one-way trail that starts just past Hartley Lake and finishes at Island Lake Lodge.
The trail passes through remote and rugged terrain. Do not attempt this trail unless you are properly prepared for sudden weather changes, wildlife encounters, and limited water sources. For those who do tackle this trail, the rewards are spectacular.
You can find more information about these, and other hikes in and around Fernie on Tourism Fernie’s web page.