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Top Family Activities & Things to Do in Fernie

Sunday • August 17, 2014

There is nothing better than spending quality time with the family away from the everyday. It’s even better when it’s done amongst the tower peaks of the Rocky Mountains, in a charming mountain community that has a passion for living life to the fullest.

The options in Fernie are plentiful. If your goal is to have a family vacation that will inspire, engage, create wonderful memories, generate continual smiles and laughter, then end with a stronger family bond, Fernie is the place to be.

There is no argument that outdoor family activities help bond parents with their kids: Bring the Fun and Adventure back into FAmily.

Fernie offers many opportunities for families to experience the awe and thrill of a mountain environment together:


Exciting & Sporty Activities:

  • Whitewater Rafting with cliff jumping - try the new Mammoth rafts with Mountain High Adventures
  • Mountain Bike over 100km of single track
  • Hike the Mountain Lakes Trail
  • Canoeing the Elk
  • Take on the Aerial Park at Fernie Alpine Resort
  • Family tennis, Pickleball or Disc Golf at James White Park
  • Experience horseback riding at Montane for the morning or day

Soft Adventure Activities:

  • Scenic River Floats with swimming
  • Biking and Walking along the Community River Trails
  • Hit the Fairways at one of BC’s most scenic and friendly golf courses
  • Take a guided 4x4 wildlife viewing tour. Spring & fall are best for bears!
  • Ride the Scenic Chairlift up to take in the views, hike and learn about the mountains
  • Stroll Historic Downtown and the many historic buildings still in use today
  • Learn to paddleboard - try the new Supsquatch with Mountain High Adventures
  • Learn to Fly Fish one of North America’s best dry fly rivers
  • Hike the Old Growth Trail at Island Lake Lodge
  • Challenge the family to a game of disc golf
  • Hike to Fairy Creek Falls

Explore Historic Downtown and enjoy great family activities with little kids:

  • Fernie Aquatic Centre features a children’s pool, waterslide, full lane swimming pool with diving board, tarzan swing and inflatables, and large hot tub
  • The Splash Park is located adjacent to the Aquatic Centre and is free for use
  • The Skills Course & Dirt Jump Park, also located adjacent to the Aquatic Centre, offers toddler and pre-school friendly loops for biking along with larger rolling trails and dirt jumps for bigger kids
  • Fernie Heritage Library is a beautiful historic building offering extensive library services as well as kids programs and events throughout the year
  • Explore the history of Fernie by starting at the Fernie Museum in Historic Downtown featuring new exhibits and a hidden coal mining tunnel for little kids to explore, guided tours every weekend in Summer and by request
  • While in Historic Downtown stop by Beanpod, where chocolate is made with 100-year-old machines right from the cocoa pod and Grow - the children’s toy store
  • Walk the Island Lake Trail Loop at Island Lake Lodge
  • Hit the two big playgrounds at Rotary Park & Ecolé Isabella Dicken Elementary School
  • Visit Nature Bob’s Interpretive Centre at Fernie Alpine Resort and extend the visit with a guided interpretive tour
  • Visit the ducks at Annex Park
  • Enjoy the community trails that are very stoller/chariot friendly
  • Hike to Fairy Creek Falls
  • Enjoy live music every Wednesday evening in July & August on the steps of the Arts Station in Station Square
  • Stroll to the Mountain Market in Rotary Park every Sunday in July & August
  • Sample tasty ice cream at Happy Cow on the Highway

Family bonding Fly Fishing:

  • Whether the kids have ever fished or not, spending time on the river with one of Fernie’s expert fly fishing guides is the perfect opportunity for quality family time in the outdoors. 
  • The combination of a pristine mountain river and mastering the intricacies of fly fishing is a great learning experience and promotes peace, reflection, and teamwork.
  • Fernie’s Elk River is renowned for its pure strain cutthroat trout and monster bull trout but is still enough of a secret that it’s not crowded with fisher folk.
  • Book a family fly fishing lesson with one of our experienced guide outfitters. 

Island Lake Lodge - Summer

  • A luxury wilderness retreat only 10km from town, accessed via a mountain trail through an ancient Western Red Cedar Forest - a magical place to experience together
  • A tranquil mountain getaway with four lodges situated in a private lush mountain valley beneath towering peaks
  • Gourmet, forest-to-fork foraged dining experiences - casual daytime patio and fine dining evening restaurant
  • simple yet elegant lodging
  • Full spa services
  • Guided and self-guided walking tours and hiking on custom-built lake and mountain trails, including iconic Heiko's Trail
  • Canoe rentals on the tranquil lake

Family Bonding Spa Wellness Getaway – any time of year:

Who doesn't love to be pampered? Experience one of Fernie's top getaway spas and reconnect in tranquil surroundings. 

  • Spa 901 offers the full city spa experience within a Rocky Mountain environment
    • Outdoor hot pool
    • Separate ladies lounge
    • Private full body infrared saunas
    • 5 treatment rooms, including rooms for 2
    • Full spa services


Ski & Snowboarding Fernie Alpine Resort

One of the best family activities around whether you’re new at the sport or seasoned veterans. As the Fernie saying goes “a family that skis together stays together.”  Fernie Alpine Resort is one of Canada’s largest ski resort destinations offering the most snow, the most runs and the most vertical in the Canadian Rockies!

  • Up to 39' annual snowfall
  • 2,504 acres of groomed, gladed and alpine terrain
  • 142 ski runs, plus gladed terrain
  • 5 alpine bowls
  • 10 lifts (4 quads, 3 triples, 3 surface)
  • 1,082m / 3,550 feet vertical
  • 1,068m / 3,500 feet base elevation
  • 2,149m / 7,050 feet summit elevation
  • 30% Beginner 40% Intermediate 30% Advanced
  • Nordic/XC Ski Trails
  • Snowshoe trails and tours
  • Ski/SB lesson programs
  • First Trax Program – book the family on this great program that gets you on the snow before anyone else with a private ski guide to show you all the best runs and powder spots.
  • Village base area offering ski-in ski-out and on-mtn accommodations, retail, rentals, restaurants and more!
  • Resort is only 5km from Historic Downtown Fernie. A local ski shuttle runs regularly.


  • If you haven’t tried it yet it is one of those ‘must do’ adventures and a great option for families that ski. If you can ski or snowboard at an intermediate level you can Catski!
  • Many say they love catskiing over heli-skiing due to the social engagement, the price tag, and the number of runs achieved per day. It’s one thing to be skiing pristine powder with the ones you care most about, but the stories and experiences of the last run about as you take a cat-ride up with your guides to the next run is pure quality time.
  • Fernie offers two professional catski operations, the high-end multi-day all-inclusive Island Lake Catskiing and the more laidback Fernie Wilderness Catskiing Adventures offering full-day and multi-day excursions. Both have been operating in Fernie for over 25 years.


  • If your family’s primary winter activity is snowmobiling, Fernie has you covered, with a wealth of trails and sledding areas for both family oriented riding on groomed trails to high alpine adventures
  • Sleds can be rented or bring your own, contact Ghostrider Motorsports for details
  • If you’re new to the sport or new to sledding in the mountains book an orientation or sled learning tour with Elk Valley Snow Shepherds or Weir Boondocking

Nordic / XC Skiing

  • Fernie features five unique Nordic Skiing areas with over 50km of trails
  • Trails are groomed daily at Fernie Alpine Resort and several times per week at all other locations
  • Open, gentle, XC-only trails suitable for beginners right in town at Fernie Golf Club
  • Spectacular intermediate, forested XC-only trails at Elk Valley Nordic Centre
  • A variety of trails to suit all abilities at Fernie Alpine Resort and Montane
  • Sublime Old-Growth Cedar trails to Island Lake Lodge, increasing in difficulty towards the lodge


  • Where there are summer walking and biking trails, there are snowshoe trails in winter
  • Another great activity for families to explore the snowy forests and mountains in and around Fernie
  • Over 100km of trails feature frozen waterfalls, groomed forest trails and wildlife habitats
  • Guided nature tours on showshoe are available with either Wild Nature Tours or Fernie Alpine Resort
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