Fall time biking in Fernie
Mountain biking in Fernie is probably the most popular activity in town. Fernie wears many hats, a ski town, Trout Town, a hiking paradise to name a few, but it seems most locals and visitors love to explore the area on two wheels, particularly in Fall.
Fall in Fernie is special, the trees start to change colours, the intense heat of summer abates, toques are dug out from wherever they have been hiding for the last three months, and the mountain bike reigns.
Ridgemont is one of the most popular biking sections in Fernie but you won’t find the trails crowded as there is more than enough room for everyone. The Ridgemont trailheads are accessible by vehicle so you can literally drive right up to the start (beware of logging trucks and other backcountry users as the trails often cross the road). By far the most popular starting point is the Cemetery Bypass Trails, which is found at the entrance to St. Margaret's Cemetery.
Splitting Bears, Ridgemont, Fernie: The top of Splitting Bears in Ridgemont have some super fun sections, including this log jump for the more adventurous bikers.
The dark forest is lit by pockets of light, soon the trails will be covered in snow but for now, everyone is enjoying the cooler temps.
Eric’s Trail has some of the best berms of the Ridgemont trails, they flow superbly and lead to an excellent viewpoint.
Viewpoint or massive jump, either way the view is well worth taking in. Found just off Eric’s Trail which leads to Space Unicorn.
Space Unicorn is perfect for families wanting to capture all their biking exploits in one shot. The trails in Fernie are maintained by the Fernie Trails Alliance, while the trails are free to use, you can help with the cost of maintaining the trails at any of the donation boxes or by becoming a member of the FTA.
Space Unicorn leads you to the base of Ridgemont, ending with these jumps. The fall colours are on display with some trees already shedding their leaves in preparation for winter.
Thanks to Heather, Chris and Larkin for showing me their favourite spots on the Ridgemont trails.
Montane is a relatively new biking area for Fernie. Part of the residential development near Coal Creek, the Montane Trails are more cross-county than the more downhill trails found elsewhere in Fernie. The trails are duel use, so you should expect to encounter hikers and dog walkers on these trails.
The views from the Montane trails are second to none. This photograph shows Coal Creek, with the Three Sisters and Mount Proctor in the distance. With snow on the peaks, it not unusual to see multiple seasons on display in Fernie on any given day. Fall colours can easily mix with lower elevation snow.
The Montane Warming Hut sits at the foot of Uprooted and offers this great view of Mount Fernie. The hut is best accessed from Montane Hut via Easy Beaver. Uprooted itself offers stunning panoramic views across the valley to Fernie Alpine Resort.
Mike Cotton is a photographer and travel writer from the UK. Find more of his work at Nomads on the Road or on Instagram.