Locals Guide to Snowshoeing in Fernie, BC
The town multi-use trail spans over five mountain areas connecting onto trails at the stunning Island Lake Lodge and Fernie Alpine Resort. From short afternoon hikes to full-day snowshoe adventures, options are plentiful. Here are some of our favourite routes to help get you started. If you prefer to take a guided hike filled with informative facts and stories about flora and fauna in the area, Wild Nature Tours & Fernie Alpine Resort have regular excursions to the best trails.
TOWN: Easy, walking, biking, stroller-friendly flat trails (Community Dyke/River/Trail System)
Mount Proctor Area
Accessing the snowshoe trails in the Mount Proctor area starts at the Fernie Visitor Information Centre. Warm-up inside before or after your hike where you'll find washrooms, fresh drinking water, an WiFi.
| Fairy Creek Falls | 4.7km return | 105m elevation gain | 1.5hrs
This waterfall at the base of Mount Proctor attracts plenty of hikers during the warmer months. It's even more stunning in the winter with soft marshmallow islands appearing to float over the creek. The trailhead begins at the Visitor Information Centre north of town just off Highway 3.
| Swine Flu | 7.5km Loop | 337m elevation gain | 2-3hrs
This trail is high up on the list of local’s favourite mountain bike trails. In the winter, it’s perfect for a wander by snowshoe rewarded with a picturesque view of Fernie, Ridgemont, Castle Mountain, and the Lizard Range.
Unfortunately, due to this hike crossing into land shared by livestock, no dogs are permitted for this adventure.
Montane & Castle Mountain
Start at the Montane Barn Bridge down Coal Creek Road. This area is popular with fatbikers, cross country skiers, dog walkers, and snowshoers.
| Montane Hut | 5.8km Return | 113m elevation gain | 2hrs
Pack in a lunch and a flask of hot cocoa. You'll get a gorgeous panoramic view across the Lizard Range, and Mount Fernie from the hut. Warm yourselves up by the fire inside the hut before making your trip back down.
| Hyperventilation Bench | 8.4km Return | 394m elevation gain | 4hrs
Climb higher up Castle Mountain and reach the Hyperventilation Bench overlooking Fernie Alpine Resort and the Lizard Range.
| Castle Rock | 12.4km Return | 539m elevation gain | 5-6hrs
You'll reap some spectacular views of Fernie on this all-day snowshoe. Expect steep switchbacks and some tricky traverses as you make your way up to the iconic Castle Rock viewpoint. This is an advance route that will require some route-finding skills at higher elevations.
Mount Fernie Provincial Park
Just a five-minute drive west out of Fernie. You can access Mount Fernie Provincial Park's trail network from Elk Valley Nordic Centre, and Island Lake Lodge sign parking.
| Lizard Creek | 4km Loop | 2hrs
This bridge to bridge hike starts at the Elk Valley Nordic Centre parking lot. Follow the trail over the bridge, and climb the Bridge View Connector, join Sherwoody, before descending down Gorby over the upper bridge. You can either return the same route, follow the Provincial Park Connector back to the Nordic Centre parking lot.
| Lazy Lizard | 16km return | 576m elevation gain | 5-6hrs
The Lazy Lizard is a winding trail leading up to Island Lake Lodge. Along the way, you’ll be passing Red Cedar, Douglas Fir, and Spruce trees as old as 800 years, with periodic breaks in the treeline to give you a stunning view of the Lizard Range.
Island Lake Lodge
Explore the wonders of the mystical Island Lake Lodge under snow cover. Begin with a cosy snowcat ride through old-growth Western Red Cedar forests,
| Island Lake | 1.5 km Loop | 1hr
Look out for Island Lake Lodges snowcat ride and lunch package. Work up an appetite by exploring the lake area.
Fernie Alpine Resort
A perfect activity if you're needing a break from skiing powder at the ski resort. Trails start at the rear of Parking Lot 4. Ask at Guest Services for guided interpretive tours. Rentals are available Sports Alpine Rental, and The Quest.
| Timber Landing Loop | 1km Return | 20-30min
| Double Creek Loop | 3km Return | 1hr - 1.5hrs
| Silk Trail | 3.4 km Return | 1hr - 1.5hrs
| Scandia Trail | 5.4 km Return | 1.5 - 2hrs