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Fernie’s Best Suggested Trail Running Routes

Most of Fernie’s Trails are suitable for trail running and cater to a variety of levels, distances, and desires. But with so many trails, it’s hard to pick where to go and know what to expect. There are a number of areas to choose from…

  • Community/Town Trail System – Multi-purpose, primarily flat, double track, good for kids, chariots and beginners.
  • Ridgemont – An easily accessible area from town, with a wide variety of trails, which you can easily add to your runs as you wish.
  • Castle Mountain - Offering good climbs, fun mountain single track and great views in a combination of old clear-cuts and forested ridgelines.
  • Montane – A new area in Fernie, but with a whole lot to offer. New trails by the day, fun and cruising, and off-leash friendly.
  • Mount Fernie & Mt Fernie Provincial Park – Mount Fernie is a beast! The Park itself also offers great climbing, dense and old growth forests, and endless trails which are cushy underfoot.
  • Mount Proctor – Swine Flu is the main area, as well as Mount Proctor Trail which is a great hike.

Fernie Hiking & Biking Trail Map - PDF

There are also some great trails at Fernie Alpine Resort, which you can access from the Provincial Park.

For full information on all things trail running in Fernie, check out Stag Leap Running Co.! Want to set goals, challenge yourself or see what others are up to in Fernie? Join the Stag Leap Trail Running Club on Strava or Stag Leap Group Runs on Facebook. Helping inspire, plan, and find your way on the Fernie trails.

Suggested Routes

To help you map out your weekend (or summer), in Fernie, here are a few route options for you…

Annex Park and Old Stumpy

Distance: 10km Loop Elevation: 100m
Start/Finish: Montane Barn
Areas: Community/Town Trail System, Montane
Description: An easily accessible, manageable 10km, mainly double track. Can be run in both directions, and you can start and stop at a variety of places.
Perfect For:  Running with the Chariot, or focussing on a run/walk program.
Directions: From the Montane Barn, take the Emily Brydon Trail onto the Great Northern Trail, over the train tracks and onto Old Stumpy back. Take the Kootenay Elk Trail, back to the Montane Barn.

Montane Loop

Distance: 10.5km Elevation: 266m
Start/Finish: Montane Barn
Area: Montane
Description: A great, cruising route on some of Fernie’s newest Trails. Undulating and fun! Combination of single and double track.
Perfect For: Running with your off-leash four-legged friend!
Directions: From the Montane Barn, head out on the Montane Trail, following Coal Creek upstream. Follow the signs until you reach the turnaround point, turning onto fun switchback single track home. Find this loop on Strava.

Swine Flu (no dogs allowed)

Distance: 7km Elevation: 376m
Start/Finish: Just off Hwy 3, east of Fernie
Area: Mount Proctor
Description: Short, but not so sweet! This steep single track climb leads you quickly high above the town.
Perfect For: A quick, challenging loop. Please note that no dogs are allowed in this area, due to cattle grazing.
Directions: From the gate, follow the single track up, over the cattle grid and up a whole lot more. Options to cut out earlier down Far Side, but getting to the top is worth it for a gorgeous perspective of the Elk Valley.


Distance: 15km Elevation: 425m
Start/Finish: Montane Barn
Area: Castle Mountain
Description: A great climb, loop and view from the top!
Perfect For: Gorgeous views of Fernie, with a good wheeze to boot.
Directions: Head out on the Montane loop, but instead take Lower Uprooted, Uprooted, onto Hyperventilation. Take a quick breath (or a seat), before heading down Hyper Extension, and into Roots Extension. Popping out and cruising along Coal Creek, is a perfect cool down back to base.

Phat Bastard to P9

Distance: 25km Elevation: 759m
Start/Finish: Annex Park
Area: Mount Fernie & Mt Fernie Provincial Park
Description: Showcasing another great trail network, in and around Fernie Provincial Park.
Perfect For: A great route, with two solid climbs, great views and fast flowy single track. Lots of options to add to this route!
Directions: From the Annex Park head up Burma Road, then take Phat Bastard, onto Mushroom Head. Climb one, done. Head down, then from the Powerline, open it up down Stove. Once you hit the Island Lake Road, continue up it, until the Lazy Lizard entrance at the Island Lake sign.

Follow Lazy Lizard, until you reach the second double-track – take it, up to the right. Climb two. Keep going up, following signage. At the top, take the fun, technical single track down. The road home is the quickest route, but for a third climb, head back up to Mushroom Head and home!

Mt. Fernie to Island Lake

Distance: 30km Elevation: 1,679m
Start/Finish: Annex Park
Areas: Mount Fernie, Island Lake
Description: A gorgeous run, with challenging climbs, high ridgelines, and backcountry singletrack and navigating.
Perfect For: An adventure with friends. And bear spray! Challenging vertical, and technical terrain.
Directions: Take the Fernie Mountain Trail from Alpine Trails. Once you reach the top of Mount Fernie, head over the backside and onto Heiko’s Rocky Road – be careful to stay on the trail. At Windy Pass, take a left, and onto the Tamarack Trail down to Island Lake. Here you can get water (or a beer on the deck), before heading home via Lazy Lizard Trail, or the Old Growth.

The Big Three!

Distance: 45km Elevation: 3,178m
Start/Finish: Annex Park
Areas: Castle Mountain, Ridgemont, Mount Fernie
Description: An epic day on the trails, bagging three of Fernie’s highest peaks!
Perfect For: A great combination of pain, pleasure and panoramic views. Not to be taken lightly, and you’ll need to refill water en route. Expect 7-10hrs of running/hiking.
Directions: From the Annex Park, head out towards Castle Mountain,
via the Montane loop, taking Lower Uprooted, Uprooted, onto Hyperventilation. Follow signs to Castle Rocks, hit the rock – climb one check!

Head back down and go right, to the top of Hyperventilation. Onto Hyper Extension, down to Coal Creek. Cross the road and head up the Ridgemont Road, taking a right into Hessian, onto Splitting Bears and Bear Chutes. Head up to the top of Big Money – climb two check!

Head down Big Money, hook a right onto Ridgemont Road, and after 2km head left into Coal Discovery, cruising your way back into town. Turn right onto Old Stumpy, onto the Great Northern Trail and over the bridge to Alpine Trails and the base of Mount Fernie. The final hurrah, climbing Mount Fernie and back down – climb three check!

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