Set along the edges of the Elk River, Dogwood Park encompasses the riverbank stretching from the West Fernie Bridge (Highway 3 crossing) straight through to Coal Creek confluence.
Within the park, there is the City Boat Launch for (non-motorized boats only), picturesque views of the Lizard Range, the Leroux Pond (home to ducks, turtles, beavers and more). The park is a popular spot for sunbathers and those wanting to cool off in the Elk River, as well a picnic spot for a lunch break. Bear-proof bins and basic toilet facilities toward the southern end of the park. If possible, please pack out any garbage to relieve the load on waste disposal crews. Dogs are welcome in the park, however, must be on-leash. There is no camping or overnight parking permitted in Dogwood Park.
Located at the north end of the park is a plaque to commemorate the War Measures Act. When the Canadian Government enacted the War Measures Act for the first time at the outbreak of the First World War, many Ukrainians and other Europeans were branded as ‘enemy aliens’ and sent to internment camps. Take a visit to the plaque and pay respects to the many citizens that faced hard times being place into these camps.
Dogwood Park is approximately 10min (700m) walk from Historic Downtown 2nd Avenue via the SW end 4th Avenue. Walkers and bikers can also access this park from the south via a gravel path just off Park Avenue near the Fernie Airport Bridge. If you're arriving by car, parking can be found off in the park. Again head southwest on 4th Avenue through the entrance gate where the road will become gravel road heading a slight downhill towards the Elk River.
Floating the Elk River
What better way to cool off during the hot summer days than by floating down the Elk? Many floaters will put in at the North Fernie bridge and peacefully drift down towards Dogwood Park. Parking is very limited at the Highway 3 pull-off by the North Fernie bridge. Annex Park offers alternate access to the Elk River where parking is available along 12th Avenue. Be aware that the river conditions are constantly changing throughout the summer. We recommend reviewing the Elk River Map & Guide for information about the route.
If you are looking for a guided rafting float, kayak or Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) tour, Fernie has two experienced and well-established river guide companies ready to take you out on an adventure.
Explore Fernie's Recreational Town Trails
There's a very good reason why this section of park trail was added to The Great Trail (aka. TransCanada Trail). Whether you explore this section of Fernie's Recreational Trail on foot or bike, you'll be immersed in beautiful riverside views of the Canadian Rockies and maybe even catch a glimpse of mountain wildlife along the banks of the Elk River. The stroller-friendly gravel path connecting Dogwood Park to Annex Park, and James White Park is a great introduction to what Fernie can offer hikers and bikers. It may even tempt you to delve deeper into Fernie's Multi-use Trail Network.
Whilst many fly anglers will keep their favourite local flyfishing spots hush-hush, you may have some luck landing one of the many Cutthroat Trout, Bull Trout, and Rocky Mountain Whitefish along this stretch of river. Remember to have the appropriate fishing licence before casting. If you are new to fishing in this area, you're likely to have a more productive day on the river taking a guided fishing float with an experienced local guide.
The boat launch at Dogwood Park is an ideal spot for flyfishers to launch or take out their float boats. As the main ramped access to the Elk River in the City of Fernie it can get busy during peak times in the morning and evenings. Please be courteous to other river users.