Saturday • February 25, 2017
17 amazing things to do in Fernie in 2017!
2017 is well underway and there's a world of experiences to discover right here in Fernie, BC. Make 2017 your most memorable year yet! Here’s our list of 17 amazing things for you to do or try in 2017 - whether you prefer adrenaline-fuelled days, laid-back family time, or moments to remember for a lifetime, these experiences are sure to bring a smile to your face. Happy planning!
Fernie Griz Days
Griz Days Winter Festival on March 3-5, 2017, is a must for your itinerary. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the annual winter weekend celebration and it's all set to be even bigger and better than usual. Enjoy fireworks, the iconic parade, a rail jam, and of course the Extreme Griz Competition. Juno-nominated Yukon Blonde will be live on the outdoor stage and the Canada 150 ParticipACTION crew will be in Historic Downtown Fernie. From the baby Griz crawl to seniors activities, Lumberjack show, street hockey, Bacon Spectacular, and Griz Stomp, there's literally something for everyone. Whether you love to participate, spectate, or just soak in the atmosphere as you hit the slopes and trails, Fernie will be buzzing with the sights and sounds of true Mountain Culture!
The Elk Valley Ultra 50KM
Spectacular views, cool valley forests and amazing mountain trails are just some of the highlights of Fernie's newest running event. Start training now and take on the challenge of the Elk Valley Ultra Marathon on July 29th, 2017! If the 50km route seems a bit ambitious, there's also a 3-person relay option, or try the Half Marathon or 10K run in early October.
Lose yourself, then find yourself at Spa 901
Voted one of the top 25 spas in Canada, Spa 901 epitomises luxury and relaxation in an upscale urban setting. Treat yourself with a soothing treatment and allow plenty of time to enjoy the complimentary hot pool, relaxation rooms, and infra-red sauna included with all body treatments (or available as an add-on, or stand-alone service). Spa 901 is open year-round and features 6'600sq ft of award-winning custom designed space.
Hike Heiko’s Mountain Lakes Trail
Unparalleled views, caves, waterfalls, big mountain passes and more make Heiko's Mountain Lakes Trail an epic day for your Rocky Mountain adventure. Put aside a day in the summer to hike this iconic trail, called one of BC's top 25 hikes by Explore Magazine. Typically this hike takes around 8-12 hours; allow plenty of time to savour the whole experience or make it an overnight excursion with a wilderness campout. Access to the trail is restricted to snowfree summer months from June to September.
Ski or Board like a Rockstar on a Snowcat Adventure
Known for epic snowfall, Fernie takes it to the next level with two unique snowcat skiing operations spanning the valley. There is something out of this world about accessing fresh, fluffy, powder snow from the comfort of a cosy 12-person snow cat. Get first tracks all day long exploring some of the Valley’s best terrain with a dedicated team of professional, qualified guides. Book your outing with luxury Island Lake Lodge or rustic Fernie Wilderness Adventures from December to April and you’ll soon see why Fernie is known as one of the best spots for snowcat skiing in the world!
Fernie Mountain Market
Pick up fresh produce to fuel your summer adventures and check out what Fernie’s finest artisans and crafters are up to at the same time. The Fernie Mountain Market is held on Canada Day, July 1st, then every Sunday during July and August at Rotary Park in the heart of Fernie. A large children's playpark, shady grassed areas and gazebo, washrooms, and free parking are all available on-site. Families will love the Bibbity-Bobbity Boo Children's Festival held in the park on August 13th.
Project 9 MTB Race
Get your bike legs going on the famous Fernie trails this summer and take on the local's favourite mountain bike race, the legendary Project 9. Stick around for after-party featuring Fernie Brewing Company’s aptly named Project 9 Pilsner - you’ll have earned a pint or two! The P9—as it is affectionately known—is held every year on September 9th.
Discover Canadian Nordic Skiing
Hit all five of Fernie’s different Nordic areas and enjoy the variety of abundant terrain, views, and features: explore the trails at the custom-built forested creekside Elk Valley Nordic Centre, gentle Fernie Golf Course, extensive Montane Multi-use trail system, daily-groomed Fernie Alpine Resort Scandia Loop and magical Island Lake Catskiing are available from December to March, and there's even a bonus riverside Dyke trail. Equipment rentals are readily available in town and at Fernie Alpine Resort, and day passes for the Fernie Golf Course and Elk Valley Nordic Centre (Fernie Nordic Society managed properties) are affordable and easily purchased. All other trails are free-to-use.
Complete your IPA Bucketlist
Each year, Fernie Brewing Company releases a series of IPAs as part of an IPA bucketlist series; sample all of the limited release brews and pick a favourite! The bottles feature unique local names including Quiet Rye't (perfect for festivals) and Last Cast, in honour of Fernie Trout Town. Discover the inspiration behind the label as you savour each new brew. If IPA isn't your thing, FBC has an extensive range of core brands, seasonal specials and limited editions. Pick up a bottle or case at Fernie Brewing Company or at most bars or liquor stores in Fernie.
Rejuvenate on a Winter Excursion to Island Lake Lodge
Ride in the comfort of a luxury snowcat through the tranquil old-growth cedar forest to gorgeous Island Lake Lodge for a gourmet lunch in the mountains. Take it to the next level and book a spa treatment or rent snowshoes or Nordic skis and enjoy the trail network around the frozen lake. Available on regular dates throughout the winter. B&B options and dinner reservations may also be available on select dates in December and April—call to inquire.
Slay the Supsquatch!
Stand up Paddle Boards, also know as SUPS, are all the rage these days, but have you heard of the Supsquatch? Mountain High Adventures brought the biggest ever SUP to Fernie in 2016 and the Elk River is one of the only places in the world you can experience this hot new activity! Perfect for groups of 4-8 friends or family and available during warmer months from June to September. Custom lake-based trips also available on request for groups. It's crazy fun and a must for your 2017 to-do list!
Wapiti Music Festival
On August 11-12, 2017, the spectacular Rocky Mountains surrounding Fernie will ring with the sweet stomping sounds of fresh Canadian Indie Music at the 7th Annual Wapiti Music Festival. The beautiful forested setting in Annex park is perfectly situated along the banks of the Elk River within easy walking/biking distance of most Fernie accommodations. Wapiti is a full-service festival featuring an ArtExpo, vendor market, great eats, kids activities, the ubiquitous beverage gardens and even a free, secure, bike check. A truly family friendly event, entrance is free for festival-goers 12+U, and 65+ over. Tickets are now on sale! The entire week surrounding Wapiti is packed with other great events to check out, so allow lots of time to explore all that Fernie has to offer. See our Events Calendar and Things to Do for plenty of great ideas!
Become a Curling Champion!
Chuck a few rocks and sweep your way into an evening of fun when you try out Canada's 'other' favourite winter sport. Drop-in Curling is available for all skill levels on Thursday nights from 7PM-10:30PM from January to March.
Golf your Way to Greatness
Future golfing stars will come together in Fernie on July 10-13, for the 2017 Future Links Western Canadian Championships. This prestigious event is an official Golf Canada tournament for junior golfers aged 18 and under. Athletes will travel from across the region to participate and Fernie is the perfect venue for this important stage on the championship schedule. The Fernie Golf and Country Club features 18 holes, driving range, putting green, Pro-shop, rentals, and 180-seat restaurant and bar facility. Regular tournaments are held throughout the year for all ages.
Discover Fat Biking
If you love biking and skiing, you'll love Fat Biking! Fat bikes are specially adapted mountain bikes with super-wide knobbly tyres for extra traction on snow. There's plenty of multi-use trails to try out; the Scandia Loop at Fernie Alpine Resort and the Montane Trails are a great place to start with lots of options for extending your ride. Rent fat bikes from one of the local shops or check out the Thursday Fat Bike + Dine session offered by Fernie Alpine Resort. The package includes your rental, a guided evening tour and then a delicious dinner at Cirque.
Experience the Ice Bar
A glowing cavern of carved ice like nothing you've ever experienced before; a true taste of the frozen north. Located inside Cirque Restaurant in Lizard Lodge, the Ice Bar is the perfect place for an icy cold toast. Bundle up in the provided jackets and step inside the climate controlled -13ºC tasting room, perfect for sampling some of the finest vodkas served up in your own ice-cup. Ice cold champagne is also available. The Ice Bar is open during restaurant hours from July-early September, and December-April.
Try Fly Fishing in Fernie Trout Town
The crystal-clear waters of the Elk River flow from the Elk Lakes through Fernie Trout Town to Lake Koocanusa, bringing an abundance of Pure Strain West Slope Cutthroat and Bull Trout. The gentle freestone river is perfect for both walk-and-wade fishing and drift-boats, with plenty of access points and boat launches. There's something sublime about the cast of a line, the gentle splash of the river bank, and the incredible wildlife that can be seen from the river, including herons, eagles, beavers, elk, and even bears and moose. If you've never tried the sport, book a lesson with one of the many local outfitters in town and we guarantee you’ll be hooked! The Elk River is open for fly fishing from June 15th each year, and peak season is September.
Start checking these events and activities off your 2017 list. Let us know how you do and share your adventures with #Ferniestoke online.