Nestled down in the Eastern Kootenays is the small town of Fernie. Don’t let its size fool you, this town is packed full of character, mountain charm and those famous mountain personalities to go along with it all.
Fernie is roughly three hours south east of Calgary and just over the border into British Columbia, during the Winter its known for its plentiful powder and during the Summer; everything from biking, hiking and kayaking to its great local beer, from Fernie Brewing Co.
Based out of Lizard Creek Lodge, a 4 day trip with Taylor Burk and Jeff Bartlett gave us plenty of time to explore the area and we started off with a trip up to Polar Peak at Fernie Alpine Resort with Matt Mosteller (aka. Powder Matt). A 4am start had us up at the Summit for sunrise, a warm wind made for great hiking conditions and allowed us to sit there and take in the incredible sunrise colours for a little while.
One of Fernie’s little hidden gems is Island Lake, accessible by a short drive up a dirt road and situated at the foot of Island Lake Lodge. Surrounded by towering peaks, meadows of wildflowers and plenty of wildlife, this places truly gives you a sense of wilderness.
Driving through the entire area gives you a real sense of scale here, the town itself is just as beautiful as the surrounding area. I always find it hard to drag myself away from my own little mountain town, I find myself comparing everywhere I go to it, but in Fernie, there wasn’t any comparing, I felt like I was at home.
Stand up paddle boarding the Elk River with Mountain High Adventures was a highlight, but maybe that was because it was a refreshing escape from the scorching heat we had throughout the trip. Every splash of water that hit me was welcomed with a smile, cooling me down as we paddled through town.
The last evening of our trip was bittersweet. As Taylor & I set off to explore some local roads and creeks we couldn’t help but feel sad about having to leave but knowing that it wouldn’t be our last visit made it all the more exciting. We were exhausted from our adventures but thats how I like to feel in the mountains. Until next time Fernie…