Looking for a challenge? This is a the one, a long one but very casual – unless you don’t want it to be casual, and then feel free to ski like mad! Excellent prizes, ride(s) on the Deer chair, a lot of yummy food and drinks. Prizes will be awarded for costumes and then as door prizes! You have the option to do the full 50 km yourself (2 loops to the ski hill trails and back) with or without the 12 lbs ‘baby’ on your back, or you can share the 50 km with a friend either as a relay or together.
This event takes place at the Elk Valley Nordic Centre located next to the Mt Fernie Provincial Park. Pre-registration is recommended for less stress on our volunteers but doing it on the morning of the event is OK. Wishing lots of fun to all! Details of the event will be announced during the season. Make sure to subscribe to our occasional emails.
This popular event is open to children and it is appropriate to kids up to 9 year old. Only a small entry fee for each pumpkin hunter. Participants are not required to be a club member. The Great Pumpkin Hunt is usually held each year on the third Saturday in October at the Warming Hut of the Elk Valley Nordic Centre. Come and have a look at the trails before the snow falls! Full details will be announced early in the Fall. Tickets are sold in advance of the event.
The hunt is followed by marshmallows by the fire pits as well as hot chocolate, coffee and hot dogs for the participants – by donation. There is also a photo booth – also by donation – which proves to be very popular with the pumpkin hunters. The event is one of the club fundraiser events.
What are these kiosks with colourful signs doing in apparently odd locations in the forest?
Five large interpretive signs have been erected along the trails at the Nordic Centre during the fall of 2016. Each one follows the theme ”Legacies” about the immediate area and its rich past history. Skiers and hikers may stop and be acquainted with many aspects of the human and natural history of our region.
Click each photo to enlarge it
This project was done with the support from the Columbia Basin Trust and RDEK. The kiosks were built by Bisaro Woodworking in Fernie and installed by club volunteers.
How to find the latest info on the TRAIL CONDITIONS? The report on trail conditions on the website gets updated regularly during the season. Even better, anyone can subscribe to our emails to get the same report in their mailbox. Look for the signup form on this page. To add to this report, anyone may text 250-430-2719 with the details.
How often are the trails groomed? The volunteers aim to groom the trails at the Elk Valley Nordic Centre 3 to 5 times a week during the season. This obviously depends on the snow conditions. Grooming is planned ahead of the weekends when more skiers are on the trails. The trails on the golf course are also groomed frequently as the snow cover allows.
Is the skiing free at the Nordic Centre and Golf Course? If you are a club member, skiing is free. It is inexpensive for non-members. A Day Pass is required if you are not a FNS member. Passes may be obtained from the kiosk at the trail head, from a volunteer at the warming hut or online. See the question below for more details.
What is a DAY PASS and where do I need one? Non-club members need to purchase a Day Pass to ski on the golf course or at the Elk Valley Nordic Centre. Day passes may be obtained from the kiosk at the trail head or online for $10 single and $20 family.
Do I need a PASS to use the trails? Yes, a valid membership or a day pass is required. Day passes are available at the trail head for $10 single or $20 family. Make sure to sign the book at the same time to be eligible for some insurance coverage. Day passes are also available online.
How do I register my child in SKI LESSONS FOR KIDS? The easiest way: visit Zone4.ca where the registration to the lessons is made together with gear rental and club membership. Our website shows more options.
How come my child is on a waiting list for the ski lessons? We accept the children in our SDP lessons program but in keeping the ratio coach-kids reasonable for an effective training program. Please consider joining as a volunteer coach to allow for more kids to participate. The required short training is paid for by the Fernie Nordic Society and it follows the CCBC training standard.
Do you offer SKI LESSONS FOR ADULTS? The club is planning several sessions of lessons for adults during the season. They will include tips for both classical and skate skiing techniques. Our coaches are NCCP licensed to teach adult skiers. Please use our Contact Us page to let us know what type of lessons you prefer, classic or skate, beginner or more advanced. The dates of the lessons will be announced by email in our club notices. Subscribe to these emails through the signup box on this page.
Are our COACHES qualified to teach? Of course they are. All our coaches are volunteers and they are required to be competent and qualified. Coaches for the kids lessons are qualified through the CCBC program. Coaches for adults are licensed through the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP). For more details, see this Coaching Program summary. Our coaches in the kids program also need to have a police background check done before joining our team.
How to get a MEMBERSHIP? It is done online for adult, family and student memberships. Visit Zone4.ca where a payment by credit card is accepted.
Do I get a membership card when I join up? You sure do. Our goal is to have your new membership card or renewal stickers ready within 7 days after your registration and payment are completed. The club does not mail the cards to keep costs low. Cards and stickers will be available for pickup at our various events early in the season. The trail ambassadors will have them at the warming hut during the weekends after the ski season starts. Please note that returning members will receive a renewal sticker for their cards.
Where is my membership card? or my sticker? A few days after your membership info is entered on the Zone4.ca website, either online or by one of our volunteers, your card will be ready for pickup. If you are a returning member, a renewal sticker will be issued for your card. Cards and stickers will be available for pickup at our various events early in the season. The trail ambassadors will have them at the warming hut during the weekends after the ski season starts. Contact us for help.
What is the ZONE4 website? The Zone4.ca website is a central point for all kinds of sports activities. It is based in Canmore, Alberta. The Fernie Nordic Society, as many other sports clubs, uses this website to handle our membership and race registrations together with their financial transactions. The website is also used to display race results such as the Teck Kootenay Cup races.
I am a BEGINNER SKIER. Where should I go skiing? The Fernie Nordic Society grooms several kilometres of trails on the Fernie golf course. The main loop around the course is 4 km in length and more side trails are groomed. It is perfect for skiing at your pace without hills and to improve your pace and technique. Check our website for maps and more details.
I am comfortable on skis. Which trails do you recommend? The 10 km trail system of the Elk Valley Nordic Centre offers a more challenging workout. Skiing may start from the warming hut or from the Fernie Alpine Resort. Maps are posted on kiosks at both trail heads. The trails include a few hills along the way and a bridge over the Lizard Creek. Do not forget to look at the views of the valley as you go. Check our website for maps and more details.
Is the WARMING HUT available for rental? The hut has been available for rental since the fall of 2016. Its outdoor deck and the interior have been completed during the 2018 season. Check out our website page for details about the surroundings and the insurance requirement.
Can my organization HELP the Fernie Nordic Society? Indeed. Corporate memberships for a group of up to six people are available. Visit our Membership page to download the registration form. Or register online at Zone4.ca
I want to help. Can I VOLUNTEER? Great! And it is easy. Our website has a Volunteers page listing several opportunities. A club member may volunteer for a short task such as an event, or take over an activity like organizing an evening activity or handling the membership registration during the season. Contact us todayto let us know.
What is a TRAIL AMBASSADOR? This person is a volunteer who is dedicated to be a presence on the trails and at the warming hut of the Elk Valley Nordic Centre for short periods on weekdays or on weekends. Her/his task is to be on site, or on the trails, to meet other skiers, to give out some information and to answer their questions. The club does not police the trails. This is our friendly way to encourage skiers to show their cards, to become a member or to purchase a day pass. Become a TA by contacting us through this website
Why are DOGS not allowed on the trails at EVNC or the golf course? Just like walkers, dogs poke holes into the trail surface ruining the grooming and track set in the process. Abandoned dog poop is another reason. There is a dog-friendly trail section on the FAR side of the Elk Valley Nordic Centre. This area is accessible from Highline Drive at the Fernie Alpine Resort. Dogs are welcome on other trails such as the Fernie dyke, Montane and the Fernie Alpine Resort.
Where may I take my dog to ski? See the previous question. Check out these dog-friendly trails: the Fernie dyke, Montane, Island Lake and the Fernie Alpine Resort. Maps and directions are available on this page.
Does the club have a RACE TEAM? Yes, it does since the 2014-2015 season. The Fernie Nordic Racers is a group of young skiers aged from 9 to 16 who aim to enroll in all races of the Teck Kootenay Cup series during the season. Their training include training on trails, weekly gym training and additional CCBC sponsored training camps. Your child is welcome to join the team. Contact us through this website and coaches Jeff and Naomi will answer your questions.
What is the Teck KOOTENAY CUP? The Teck Regional Cup series offer affordable, accessible competitive opportunities for developing athletes and are sponsored by Teck throughout B.C. All Regional Cup races offer age-appropriate categories for children 14 years of age and younger, and most offer the full spectrum of categories for skiers of all ages from the CCBC website. The skiers from the Fernie Nordic Society have participated in the Teck Kootenay Cup series of races every year. Our club has won the Cup in the 2014-2015, 2015-2016, 2017-2018 seasons and again in 2018-2019 in part due to the large participation by young and adult skiers from Fernie.
I would like to participate in a RACE. What do I need to know? Any club member may participate in the Teck Kootenay Cup races as an adult skier or a young skier. The series includes 5 or 6 races to choose from during the season. The more participants from FNS, the more points the club gets in the standings. Come and join! Check our calendar page for the scheduled races. The club also organizes a local Community Fun Race in Fernie during the season. It is also open to non-club members. All for a fun time. Check our calendar for details.
Can I purchase any FNS MERCHANDISE? Yes, the Fernie Nordic Society has several items for sale: round patches with FNS logo $10, toques with pompon $20. Contact us through this website for more details.
Do you have any SOCIAL EVENTS planned? Watch for the Full Moon Skis and Family Skis events during the season. Group activities like ski outings during the week may be set up according to demand. There is also our year end event in the spring. Check our calendar page for the schedule.
Is the Fernie Nordic Society a CHARITY? No. The club is a non-profit sports club registered under the BC Societies act.
Can I get a receipt for the CHILDREN TAX CREDIT? Unfortunately, not any longer. This program has been abolished by the federal government starting in the 2017 year. Receipts for your payment are issued through the Zone4.ca website. If you are missing your receipt or require a detailed one, please contact us through this website.
Why is crosscountry skiing so inexpensive in Fernie? There are two main reasons. First, we have received some considerable financial support from the BC government over the years. And second, the activities of the Fernie Nordic Society are all run by volunteers. The club has only one part time paid employee, the administration assistant to the club president. The Society encourages all volunteers to come forward in order to keep all membership costs low.
What is the main operating EXPENSE of the club? Grooming of the trails at the Elk Valley Nordic Centre costs about $300 for a single pass. This adds up to our largest operational expense. It is also the item deemed the most important one as reported in our last survey of members and trail users.
What is the correct size of gear for my child? The proper fitting of the boots, skis and poles is important for your child to enjoy the sport comfortably and safely. It is simple to do and the basic hints may be found online on these pages: fitting boots, sizing classic and skate skis, sizing poles
Is FNS on SOCIAL MEDIAS? Glad you asked! The Fernie Nordic Society is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These links can be found at the bottom of this page.
Which regions are our members from? As expected most club members are from the Elk Valley area (79%) and a large number from Alberta (20%). Figures as of March 2019/
I cannot find any information on the WEBSITE. What now? The website is updated regularly and it is not perfect. All pages are reachable from the home page. Just drill down from the menu at the top of the page. Another solution is to use the handy Search box at the bottom of this page. Your suggestions are always welcome – leave us a note through the website.
I have a question. How do I CONTACT the Fernie Nordic Society? For any inquiry, please head for the Contact Us page on the website with confidence.
The Fernie Nordic Society maintains the trails at the Elk Valley Nordic Centre and at the Golf Course in partnership with the Fernie Golf & Country Club. The crosscountry ski trails in the region are made possible by the involvement of several land owners, the Fernie Alpine and Island Lake resorts, the Golf Club and the City of Fernie. During the ski season, look for a ski trail map at local sports shops. Visit the great Fernie Tourism website here for more activities to do in Fernie.
Elk Valley Nordic Centre
About 10 kilometres of groomed trails are now available for the 2018-2019 ski season. The first trails of the Nordic Centre were set during the fall of 2013. A bridge across the Lizard Creek was installed in November 2014 to give access to additional trails (in purple and yellow on the map). The bypass trail ”The Runt” was added in the fall of 2015 (in red). Curious about our interpretive kiosks? Check this page for the surprising details.
How to get there: To reach the Elk Valley Nordic Centre, go west from Fernie on highway 3. At 3 km from the bridge, turn right at the Island Lake Lodge sign. Follow the road for 0.9 km to the Mt. Fernie Provincial Park sign. Turn left into the overflow parking lot at 0.2 km. The trail head is located on your left about 50 m before the parking lot and it is indicated by a sign. A trail map is posted at the kiosk located in the clearing. Please NO DOGS ON THE TRAILS at any time. Note that more walking trails are located at the far end of the parking lot. Enjoy!
The starting point is the Warming Hut (49.485633 N, 115.090980 W) More trail and elevation info on this page
Access from the Fernie Alpine Resort side: Park in the main parking area. Ski between the Deer chair and the Day Lodge, go past the Mighty Moose and Elk chairs. (You can also start from the stairs beside the Griz Inn) Continue up the wide path and cross the Highline Drive. The path toward the Elk Valley Nordic Centre trails (1km away) is between the houses at 5311 and 5305. There is no parking anywhere along the street. At 300 m from Highline Drive, you may also take the fork on the left to reach the Boomerang chair. This is a beautiful 1.3 km long hike through the trees. The trail is wide and well packed by snowmobiles. This is a good trail to walk dogs, snowshoeing, skiing and the like. The trail ends at the chair lift and only paying FAR customers can continue of course.
Fernie Golf Course
About 12 km of groomed tracks are available on the golf course. There is little change of elevation on these trails so it is optimal for beginner skiers. The start of the trails is at the Clubhouse of the golf course where you will find ample free parking. The trails are jointly groomed by the Golf Course and by the Nordic Society volunteers on a regular basis. How to get there: To reach it from the highway 3, turn south at the 13th Street light, then turn left again on 6th Avenue for 400 metres, then right again on Fairway Drive for 800 metres to the parking lot. There is a box next to the Clubhouse for signing up and to deposit your fee for the $10 daily pass or $20 per family, or you may purchase a pass online here. Show your support for our volunteers! You may consider getting a Nordic Society season pass for $80/adult or $180/family here. The management of the golf course has specified that NO DOGS be allowed on these trails. The starting point is at the clubhouse ( 49.516403 N, 115.047922 W )
More Cross Country ski trails near Fernie
Several easy skiing trails can be found in Fernie and also within a short distance of the city. Just bring some water and snacks for a wonderful time out on the trail. Be aware that other skiers like to enjoy the trails and the great outdoors without having to encounter doggy leftovers. Skiers with dogs are welcomed to the trail on the Fernie dyke.
The Fernie Dyke – a dog-friendly trail
The path on the dyke follows the scenic Elk River. It is not groomed regularly but it is well used by hikers, snowshoers and cross-country skiers. Outdoor enthusiasts with dogs are welcome here. Part of the trail is groomed by Nordic Society volunteers. The trail is accessed from the large parking lot next to the Marks-Canadian Tire building on the North side of town. It extends to the east and also to the west around the Annex neighbourhood.
Fernie Alpine Resort
The FAR resort grooms two skiing loops on the southwest side of the resort. The entire course is about 9 km long but it has a bypass at the half-way point. A map of the trail is displayed at the parking lot. This trail is easy but the short section to reach it from the parking lot is steep and a little challenging. Beginners may carry their skis to the start of the loop. Dogs on a leash are permitted on these trails. From highway 3 west from Fernie, turn right at the FAR sign, about 8 km. Follow the main road keeping your to your left at the ski hill until you reach the parking lot 4. The trail starts straight ahead. The resort does not charge for the use of their trails, but support of the resort businesses is appreciated.
Island Lake Resort
For a taste of the winter wilderness, this is it! The Island Lake Lodge has several kilometres of trails groomed for their guests. The trails at the lower level follow a stream in the forested area so the change in its elevation is slight and it is a pleasant outing. The steep road to the main lodge may be done on skis for a good 90 minutes workout but you may encounter one of the frequent CatSki vehicles ferrying guests, a snowmobile or even the occasional moose. There are also a few kilometres of groomed trails around the Lodge at the higher elevation. There may be about 25 km of trails in all. Important Wildlife Info: Dogs must be under control at all times and must not be left unattended. Wildlife forced to run from a chasing dog will expend precious energy in order to avoid the perceived predator. In the winter, this flight can be life threatening, as many species need to conserve energy reserves just to make it through the winter. Owners must pick up after their dog. Besides being unsightly and smelly, animal waste can be hazardous to the health of wildlife. In addition, one of the most common forms of disease transmission between dogs is through fecal matter. Uncontrolled dogs and owners will be asked to leave the Island Lake property. To reach the site, head west from Fernie on highway 3 and turn right at the Island Lake sign – about 3 km. Follow this road for 7 km through the Mount Fernie Provincial Park until you reach the Island Lake Lodge parking lot. The road to the lodge is closed to cars during the winter. There is no fee for parking but it often gets busy on Sundays. Webcam The starting point is at the lower parking lot located at 49.491604 N , 115.113241 W
Montane Nordic and Multi-use Trails
The Fernie Trails and Ski Touring Club is doing the trail management and snow grooming on the Montane Property. The trails are now signed and color-coded as follows: all of the road system on Montane Green trail is snowcat groomed and snowmobile groomed for Nordic Skiing Only. For non-motorized multi-use, all of the Montane Blue trail (10 km), Uprooted and Resurrection are available for walkers, dogs, bikers, snowshoers. Also the trail along Coal Creek and the trails close to the Montane housing development are being groomed for multi-use. We have put up one hundred signs showing the routes and are putting out a map in January.
This private land is 3 kilometers long and one kilometer wide, covering the area from Coal Creek to Cokato (Roots Trail Powerline) and below the River Road Extension to Cokato Road. The entire property is signed as non-motorized use. Please follow the signage to respect the trails groomed for nordic skiers.
How to get there: One access route is to start from the Fernie Aquatic Centre, follow Pine Street and turn left on the entrance of the Montane Development road just past the Coal Creek. Go past the houses and park along the road. The trailhead for both the Green Nordic trails is nearby. Another starting point is the Old Barn located at 49.496467 N, 115.05497 W. More trail and elevation info on this page. The entire Montane property below River Road Extension is non-motorized.