Local's Guide to Cross Country Skiing in Fernie, BC
Updated: January 2023
Fernie features over 42km of cross-country ski trails for all levels of Nordic skiers thanks to extensive expansion in recent years.
There are four unique areas to cross-country ski in Fernie: at the Elk Valley Nordic Centre, Fernie Alpine Resort, Fernie Golf Course, and Montane Trails, plus a multi-use riverside dyke trail. View the Winter Trail Map.
Take a quick preview of Fernie's vast cross country terrain options
Easily accessed from Historic Downtown Fernie, the trail area has minimal elevation change and features 8 km of groomed, beginner-level terrain with epic wide-open views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains. There is ample free parking at the trailhead by the Clubhouse (not open in winter). You'll find the Trail & Info Sign, with a dropbox for the purchase of day passes. These trails here are only for XC skiers and no dogs are allowed.
Location & Details: You can access these trails via Fernie Golf Club, 201 Fairway Drive, Fernie, BC.
The Elk Valley Nordic Centre features over 10 kms of professionally-designed trails which are regularly groomed and trackset perfect for classic and skate skiing. With some short punchy climbs and rolling downhill sections, these trails are great for intermediates and above. This network also links directly to Fernie Alpine Resort via the Galloway Connector Trail.
Location & Details: Head to Mt Fernie Provincial Park, just a couple kilometres west of Fernie, to access this great trail system. As you approach the camping area turn left to the overflow parking area.
The trailhead features a warming hut with seating, maps and information. Knowledgeable trail ambassadors are on-hand most weekends and holidays.
Trail use fees and membership registrations can be left in the box at both trailheads, or purchase online at fernienordic.com.
Fernie Alpine Resort has 14km of wide multiuse trails. The trails here are groomed on a regular basis throughout the winter and are great for classic and skate skiers. There are a few hills on both the short and long loop providing a good work-out. Trails are free to use and visitors are encouraged to use the resort facilities.
Location & Details: Find the trailhead at the back of Parking Lot 4 at Fernie Alpine Resort
Cross country skiing under a full moon is a popular activity with visitors and locals. Keep an eye on the events calendar for group ski outings organised by the Fernie Nordic Society.
The Montane Trail System comprises of 15kms of multi-use trails with a further 8km of trails specific to nordic skiing. Trails are groomed on a regular basis by the volunteers at the Coal Creek Heritage Society . Additional trails in the system are for snowshoeing, fat biking, and dog walking. A day-use hut can be found towards the far end of the trail system and features beautiful views towards Fernie Alpine Resort.
Location & Details: From Downtown, the area can be accessed from Coal Creek Road. Just 1km up Coal Creek Road is the Montane Trailhead Parking and a bridge crossing over Coal Creek. Park before the bridge and start on the trails that begin on the other side of the bridge and information signs. Make sure to stop by the Old Montane Barn near the Coal Creek Trailhead and visit the miniature ponies and fainting goats housed there.
The Montane trails are a mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced. Montane Trails and the Montane Hut are managed by the Coal Creek Heritage Society; donations are welcomed and much appreciated.
Trail Etiquette & Safety:
• Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. • Be respectful of other trail users and their enjoyment. • Please keep groomed trails in good condition by adhering to any signs. Most groomers are volunteers working hard so that everyone can enjoy the outdoors. • Be aware of wildlife, keep dogs under control or on leash and clean up after them. • Respect the environment and leave no trace. All garbage must be packed out and deposited in proper receptacle. • Check the weather forecast before you go, plan and dress accordingly. • Bring water and pack snacks for energy. • Support the local trails with a donation or membership. • Stay on designated trails. • Motorized vehicles are prohibited. • Check out AdventureSmart.ca and Avalanche.ca for information on how to stay safe outdoors in the winter report wildlife sightings to WildSafeBC ph: 877-952-7277
Find this handy guide to Cross Country Skiing in Fernie in the Visitor Information Centre, or get the digital version for your devices below