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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 amoungst the tower peaks of the Rocky Mountains, in a charming mountain community that has a passion for living life to the fullest.

It starts with an immersion into the tranquility of an inspiring mountain. That’s Part 1. Local hospitality and the community’s vibe and soul will then ease you into the Fernie groove.  That’s Part 2.

Settled and ready for adventure the options in Fernie are plentiful. If your goal is to have a family vacation that will inspire, engage, create wonderful memories, bring oneself out of their shell, generate continual smiles and laughter, then end with a stronger family bond and unit, this is the place to be. That’s Part 3.

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
  • Mountain Bike over 100km of single track
  • Hike the Mountain Lakes Trail
  • Canoeing the Elk
  • Take on the Aerial Park
  • Family tennis at James Whyte Park
  • Explore the backcountry by horseback for the morning or day
  • For the true pioneer experience take the family on an overnight horseback wilderness trip

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 Fly Fish one of North America’s best dry fly rivers
  • Ride horseback along the Bull River Valley with a Cowboy Steak Dinner with all the trimmings.
  • Hike the Old Growth Trail at Island Lake Lodge
  • Challenge the family to a game of disc golf
  • Hike to Fairy Creek Falls

Looking for great family activities with little kids?

  • Fernie Aquatic Centre features a children’s pool, waterslide, full lane swimming pool with diving board and tarzan swing and large hot tub.
  • Outdoor Water Park is located adjacent to the Aquatic Centre and is free for use.
  • 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.
  • Tour the history of Fernie by starting at the Fernie Museum in Historic Downtown featuring new exhibits and a hidden tunnel for little kids to explore more about Fernie.
  • While in Historic Downtown stop by the Beanpod, where chocolate is made with 100 year old machines right from the cocoa pod. Then stop by Clawhammer Letterpress, Grow - the children’s toy store and the old fashioned candy store.
  • Walk the Island Lake Trail Loop at Island Lake Lodge
  • Hit the two big playgrounds at Rotary Park & Isabella Dickens 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

Bonding boys – Making the catch on the fly. Shhh: quality time is the guarantee not just fish

Whether the boys have ever fished or not spending time on the river with one of Fernie’s expert fly fishing guides is perfect opportunity for quality Dad & Son time (not to mention Dad & Daughter or Mom too!).

The combination of being on a pristine mountain river for the day feeling the peace and beauty of the valley while working the rod in a thrilling battle of man vs fish is ideal quality time. Fernie’s Elk River is renowned for it pure strain cutthroat trout and monster bull trout, but it still a enough of a secret and effectively managed that it’s not crowded with fisher folk.



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!

  • Resort Stats & Programs
  • 30-39 feet annual snowfall
  • 2,504 acres of ski/SB 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 do this! Many say they love catskiing over heli-skiing due primiarily to the            social engagement, the price tag and the number of runs. 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 you excitedly converse about as you take a cat ride up with yoru 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 features a wealth of trails and sledding areas for both family oriented riding on groomed trails to high alpine adventures. Sleds can be rented in town or bring your own. If you’re new to the sport or new to sledding in the mountains book an orientation or sled learning tour with Weir Boondocking Backcountry Snowmobile Clinics.

Nordic / XC Skiing

Fernie features four unique Nordic Skiing areas with over 40km of trails and growing. Another great activity the family can do together. Trails are available at the Fernie Golf Club, Fernie Alpine Resort, Island Lake Lodge and the newly developed Elk Valley Nordic Centre.


Where there are summer trails there are snowshoe trails in winter. Fernie extensive trail system, primarily used for hiking and biking in summer are ideal trails for snowshoeing in the winter. Another great activity for families to explore the snowy forests and mountains in and around Fernie. Over 100km of trails are available including trails and guided nature tours on showshoe with either Wild Nature Tours or Fernie Alpine Resort.


Mom & Daughter Mountain Wellness Getaway – any time of year

What girl doesn’t love to be pampered? Fernie is the ultimate combination of purity, rejunvenation, positive energy, relaxation and reconnecting with oneself and loved ones.

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 (Mom & daughter, Mom & Dad)
  • Full spa services

Essential Yoga

  • Yin, Flow, Mellow, Core Strength and more
  • Chakra Healing Retreat: Pathway to Self Discovery Nov 7-9, 2014

Island Lake Lodge - Summer

A luxury wilderness retreat only 10km from town. Island Lake Lodge is a tranquil mountain getaway four lodges situated in its own private lush mountain valley with towering peaks. Gourmet dining, simple yet elegant lodging, full spa services, guided and self-guided walking tours and hiking.

Community Trails & Parks

Enjoy a morning or evening stroll along the Elk River. Feel the peaceful vibe and breath the fresh mountain air as the sounds of the river and views of the Rockies inspire and engage your soul.


Historic Downtown

Experience local passion and wellness as you explore Historic Downtown Fernie. Unique shops, cafes, restaurant and pubs line the 3+ blocks of turn-of-the-century brick buildings.

  • Visit Beanpod, one of the only places in North American and the world that makes true chocolate right from the beanpod on site.
  • Indulge in cheeses from around the country and the world at Le Grand Fromage
  • Dine South American style at Nevado’s featuring many local and BC ingredients
  • Savor the elegance of fine dining at The Livery, one of Fernie’s oldest historic buildings
  • Make art and see a 100 year old letterpress in action at Clawhammer Letterpress.
  • Enjoy live music Wednesday evenings in summer on deck at The Arts Station, what was once Fernie’s train station.
  • Every Sunday in summer shop locally made gifts, local produce and more at the Mountain Market
  • Learn about Fernie’s engaging history at the Fernie Museum.
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