There is an endless amount of things to do in Fernie in the summer, especially with the kids. If you're looking to be active, the town of Fernie is a great place to visit for vacation. There is no shortage of outdoor activities for the entire family. One of our favorite things to do while we are there, is to get the kids out on their bikes.
Fernie’s riding has evolved substantially in the last 10 – 15 years, making it a Canadian gem that’s quickly gaining a reputation as a biking mecca. You can find something for everyone. There are beginner trails that the kids can manage as well as great single track for Mom and Dad. If you're gig is downhill biking, the ski hill runs the chairlift and also has a skills park at the base.
If you’re planning a family trip to Fernie this summer, here are 5 great bike options to hit up with the kids:
1. The Fernie Bike Park
The Fernie bike park has something for all riding levels. It is located next to the Fernie Aquatic Centre so there is usually lots of parking if you're driving. It's one of our favourite spots to hangout in Fernie. There are kids on pushbikes, kids starting to pedal, and some that are working on their big airs. Generally, when my kids see other kids do stuff, they’re more likely to try and the bike park provides a great environment for that. There are bumps, burms, skinnies, and jumps.
If you pedal beyond the dirt park, passed the paved basketball court, you will find a little single track loop with small ups, downs, and corners, that is perfect to practice on before hitting up the longer rides in the area. A little further past that loop, there is a green field with teeter-totters, and a treed section where you can find more flat single track. At the far back end of the field of green, you will also find some super fun rolling boardwalks that come off the Town Loop/Coal Creek Heritage trail. Don’t forget to pull out your camera to snap shots of your kids doing tricks with gorgeous mountain vistas as backdrops.
After you’ve had tons of fun riding around the bike park and the kids are well covered in dirt, swing by the waterpark located at the front of the Aquatic Centre, to cool off and clean off. So much fun!
2. The Town Loop linked to the lower part of Old Stumpy (15.4 Km)
The Town Loop is a fantastic mostly double wide trail that is easily passable when towing a chariot. (The Old Stumpy bit may require some pushing of the chariot up some sections and the Littles will likely also need to dismount to hike a bike up some technical portions where there are a few built steps. There is also a part of the trail that circles Maiden Lake and it narrows in spots. The chariot can pass but it might not be smooth sailing.) Other than the lower part of Old Stumpy, the trail remains fairly flat with little elevation.
Do not be intimidated by the distance of the loop. The beauty of this trail is that you don’t have to do the entire thing. There are many places that you can ditch the trail and ride the road back home. It is also excellent to get around town on bikes so that you can avoid the road and traffic. If you ride along the river, toward the Annex Park, it’s always fun to stop at the duck pond. You can also ride to the bike park on this trail with great views of the ski hill, or to Maiden Lake for a dip, with the beautiful Three Sisters in the distance.
This trail is a great starting point for kids to gain riding skills to pedal on dirt and gravel. The wide sections give them lots of space. It is also a great way to work their little legs to increase their staying power and up their mileage.
3. Lazy Lizard (8 Km, one-way)
How many places are there 8 km of flowy fun bike descent that kids can do too?
Lazy Lizard is a two-directional trail, so you should expect to see riders climbing it, however, it is a long climb for little ones. The beauty of this trail is that the road to Island Lake is open in the summer and so you can shuttle this ride with the kids. It’s a fun way to introduce Littles to shuttling and downhill culture. There are a few steeper hills from the top, so kids should be comfortable with braking on dirt trails. If those few hills are too much, you can always walk them. Once you get passed them, the trail turns into flowy switchbacks at green-level grades. You will come across some wide boardwalk bridges that are also super fun for the kids to practice their skills.
4. Montane (7.3 Km)
The Montane trails is an area of trails that has been developed over the last few years but intersects some of the older trails in the area. Head passed the old Barn up the Montane Access Trail to get to the area. It’s a ‘blue’ rated trail and so there is some significant climbing for little legs. It’s a fun trail for the more experienced little riders. Don’t let the blue square deter you because the Montane Access Trail runs along the river for some time with little elevation. And remember, if you can’t do the switchbacks or the pitches, get off your bike and push up to the next section. If the entire loop is proving to be too much, turn your bike around and ride it as an out and back.
5. Ridgemont Trails
The Ridgemont Trails are another area of convoluted trails with newer trails intersecting older ones. It offers plenty of blue squared trails for kids that are ready for this terrain. Cemetry By-Pass may require a push up for kiddos, but passed that point you can pick up Kiddie Up and Queen V which have green square ratings. Beyond Queen V, most trails in the area have blue ratings but if you get up there and they're too challenging, come back down Kiddie Up and Queen V for a fun ride.
More Fernie Resources:
Now show me your GRRRR face!
IMPORTANT REMINDERS AND TIPS:
1. Be bear aware – Fernie is bear country so pack the bear spray!
2. Download the Trailforks App – This App provides a detailed map of the Fernie biking areas. There is good reception on these trails and the app is accurate at showing you where you are on the trail.
3. Don’t forget that “Hike and Bike” is fair game, especially when you’re out discovering new terrain.
4. Have fun and Get Kids Out!