Fatbiking in Fernie is a whole new way to enjoy winter!
NOTICE: Public access to all Ridgemont Trails will be closed to logging starting mid-October 2018 and throughout the winter season.
Winter fat biking is allowed on all other mountain bike trails, but limited trails are groomed. The local community town/river-side trail and parts of the Elk Valley Trail are great options for beginner and are packed down or groomed regularly. Only certain singletrack trails will be groomed by local volunteers, such as Montane Blue trails, Lazy Lizard, Contra, the nordic trails at Fernie Alpine Resort, and a few others. Keep updated by joining the Fernie Fatbike Facebook Group.
What is Fatbiking?
- Fatbiking is the newest way to have fun in winter! If you can ride a bike, you can ride a fatbike. Fernie's amazing trail system is perfect for winter riding, with everything from easy, level, multi-use community trails, to groomed shared trails, to challenging singletrack.
- Fatbikes are just like any other bike, but with custom forks and extra wide tires to provide extra stability, grip and stopping power in the snow.
- Fatbiking is self-powered — you can go anywhere you feel comfortable riding.
- Fatbiking is great exercise! Just like nordic skiing and snowshoeing, you'll be working the whole time, so wear light, breathable, flexible layers and warm gloves. Don't forget your helmet!
- The best time to go fatbiking is when the snowpack is firm. You can normally ask at the rental shops for most up to date information.
Fernie's outdoor gear shops have stocked up with everything you need to get on the trails and Fernie's mountain biking community have embraced this new sport enthusiastically.
- Good thermal gloves are essential, and it's wise to wear a toque under your helmet. You'll warm up fast as get moving so make sure to be able to remove some layers easily. Make sure your pants are flexible and close fitting enough for bike riding. You'll find every type of outdoor gear for sale right here in town.
- Rentals and Retail are available at our great outdoor gear stores: Gearhub, Straightline, and The Guide's Hut and Straightline in downtown Fernie and at Fernie Alpine Resort.
- Pick up a copy of the multi-use trail map and ask for advice at bike/ski shops in town.
- Sign up for a camp or join a weekly ride! Fernie Bike Guides offer instruction and fun rides where you'll meet other fatbikers. Book a 'learn to fatbike' session at Fernie Alpine Resort and spend two hours with an experienced guide, exploring the trails and learning tips for biking in the snow. $69, includes rental, helmet, and lesson. Departs 1.30pm on weekends and holidays.
- The Snow Valley Lodging have 2 complimentary Rocky Mountain fatbikes available to guests!
Where To Ride
Mountain biking trails around Fernie are perfect for riding throughout the winter with clear signage, well-built berms and easy access from town.
- Beginners might like to start with the community riverside trails through Fernie to get a feel for their bike. These trails are mostly flat with few hills to tackle and become packed down quickly by walkers for easy riding.
- New trails in the Montane area off Coal Creek Road are groomed regularly and are the perfect place for beginner and intermediate fatbikers to enjoy wide multi-use trails, meet other riders and enjoy the purpose-built warming hut. This area is under expansion so watch for new trails each time you visit! From downtown Fernie, take 4th Street to Pine Ave, then left onto Coal Creek. A parking lot at the bridge and large trail sign marks the entrance to the area.
- At Fernie Alpine Resort,fatbikers are welcome on the 8km of groomed multi-use trails, Silk, Manchuria & Scandia Loop, accessed via Parking Lot #4. To avoid the steep trailhead, leave your car in the parking lot and ride back out to the road, turning left past the RV Parking to access the trails.
- Join the weekly Thursday Evening Ride & Dine at Fernie Alpine Resort — every week, departs at 5pm. Experience the tranquillity of a 2-hour night ride followed by a delicious burger and beer dinner at Legends Mountain Eatery. $59 includes bike rental, headlamp, guided tour, and burger & beer.
- Trails at Ridgemont are closed for winter 2018-2019
- At Mt Fernie Provincial Park there are several popular areas for winter riding. The groomed trail to Island Lake has an easier start and more challenging midsection, or try the singletrack for more challenging rides.
- The Elk Valley Nordic Centre and the Golf Course groomed trails DO NOT allow biking; these are for nordic skiing only.
Most, but not all, trails in Fernie are multi-use, and fatbiking is welcome. Be respectful of the cost and volunteer effort that goes into the grooming
- ONLY ride in areas that allow biking. Obey all trail access and vehicle signs
- Snowshoers and Nordic Skiers have right of way. YIELD to all other users when riding and ride in control; you've got brakes, but other's don't. Be friendly, polite and vocal if they haven't noticed you coming towards them so as not to startle them on passing.
- Please avoid riding the when the trails are extremely soft and slushy. Not only is it's a lot of extra effort for you as a rider, but it also leaves deep ruts on the trails, making it tougher for the next bikers. The International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) ask that you only ride when you are not leaving a groove deeper than one inch. If there is a firmer part of the trail, ride there.
- Please try to ride to the outermost part of groomed trail, not down the middle to avoid creating grooves in skate-ski trails. Please stay out of tracksets (double grooved trails running parrallel to the groomed trails), as these are for classic Nordic skiing only. Do not ride on, over or in the classic set tracks
- There's no shame in falling or walking a section of the trail if it gets technical. Please try and avoid creating craters in the trails — step off and walk along the outside of the trail, rather than the centre if possible.
- Yield to motorized vehicles. Leave room for other users and motorized vehicles to pass (don't ride side-by-side blocking the full trail).
- Fatbiking is not allowed on Fernie Nordic Society Trails. These are machine-groomed specifically for cross-country skiing and are clearly marked at the Fernie Golf Course, the Fernie Nordic Centre at Mt Fernie Provincial Park, and on the Montane Trails. At Montane, the trails specific to Nordic Skiing weave between trails suitable for fatbiking. You can tell which are for fatbike and snowshoe use as they are designated 'Multi-Use'.
- Be respectful and be cautious of wildlife; Keep your dogs on a leash and under control at all time