Hike to former-townsite of Coal Creek 5km east of Fernie. Whilst completely abandoned now, the small coal mining community was once home to over a thousand residents over a century ago.
Elevation: 242m / 794ft
Average Time: 3-5 hours
Length: 10.2km return
This historic trail is fairly easy graded with very few short climbs making it ideal for family hikers and bikers.
Don't forget to pick up a Fernie Trail Map before your hike. TrailForks users can track their progress and location along this hike, if they have GPS on their mobile device, using the Trailforks app, and the Coal Creek Heritage Trail route.
This trail begins at the Fernie Dirt Jump Park, however, you can also find a second trailhead access next to the Fernie Rod & Gun Club Shooting Range. From downtown 2nd Avenue, cross over the railway line by Gearhub Sports, and take a right past the Fernie Aquatic Centre on Pine Avenue and turn left on Coal Creek Rd. Stay on this road for about 3.4 km where you'll pass the Fernie Rod & Gun Club Shooting Range. You'll see trail markers and an information board. Please be aware that there are active logging vehicles operating on this road, so please park courteously.
As with any trip into the backcountry be well prepared for weather changes. And remember that you are travelling in an area where wildlife is abundant. Be aware of your surrounding, follow the proper safety protocols and respect the environment.
The trail winds past the Fernie Rod & Gun Club Archery Range, and then switchbacks up onto the old road, at the top turn right. The old road was the main link between Fernie and the former town of Coal Creek. Along the corridor, you will notice old rock work retaining walls from the early 1900’s. The trail transitions onto a logging road for approximately 200 metres then comes close to Coal Creek Road at 37 km. The road continues above an old rock quarry where a bench overlooks to the #9 Mine across the valley. Continue along the trail where you will climb some switchbacks to your left to navigate around a large rock debris low.
You will likely begin to get an odour of sulphur as you travel further up the trail until you arrive at one of the first old mine portals where a bridge crosses the seepage from the mine. The trail is well marked with the yellow markers, where you will be lead into the old Coal Creek Townsite. Many old foundation ruins and mining artefacts can be seen along this section of the trail. After passing through a large opening the trail sets off to the left following beside a large drainage feature, then you will exit at the townsite trailhead kiosk. You are encouraged to have a good look around, but remember many hazards may exist off of the trail so do so at your own risk.