This 5,000 resident town at the foot of Trinity Mountain is a year-round recreation center. It lies in the  wide Elk Valley, midway between Cranbrook and Sparwood on the #3 Crowsnest Highway. Fernie is known for its brick and stone buildings in its well-preserved downtown area. There is skiing in winter, and several lakes nearby for boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, and mountain biking.

Fernie lies on the Crowsnest Route #3 about 100 km east of Cranbrook, and about 160 km west of Fort MacLeod, Alberta, and about a 3 hour drive (310km)  from Calgary’s Internernational Airport.

Fernie Annual Events

Power, Pedal, Paddle Relay Race (April), Fernie Sports 5 & 10 k Run (June), Bikers’ Toy Run (June), ‘The Gathering’ Island Lake Folk Festival (August), Harvest Fair (August), Mud ‘n’ Madness Mountain Bike race (Aug), Kootenay Cruisers Show’n’Shine (Sept), Lions Demolition Derby (Sept), Craft & Flea Market (Oct).

Fernie History

The area around  Fernie was inhabited by the Ktunaxa First Nation,who were there for many thousands of years.

In the late 1800s, the discovery of coal in the Elk Valley region attracted attention as a critical rsources for the railroads and for home heating. In the early 1890s, William Fernie, along with James Morris, Colonel James Baker, and John Nimick, recognized the potential for mining in the area. In 1898, the town of Fernie was officially established, named after William Fernie. Fernie’s population grew rapidly, as the town became a bustling  regional hub of the coal mining industr.

The early 1900s saw significant labor unrest in Fernie. Miners fought for improved working conditions and wagesm which led to the 1902 coal miners’ strike, a pivotal event in Fernie’s history.

In August 1908, The Great Fire  swept through Fernie, destroying most of the town’s wooden buildings. The town was  rebuilt  in the more substantial and fire-resistant materials like brick and stone that we see along today’s Main Street. Over time, Fernie’s economy diversified beyond coal mining into forestry and tourism. The surrounding natural beauty and rugged terrain attracted outdoor enthusiasts, and Fernie became known for its many year-round recreational opportunities.

Since the 1970s, Fernie  transformed as a popular tourist destination with the nearby Fernie Alpine Resort and its world-class skiing facilities drew visitors from around the globe.

Rockies-Fernie Ski Resort view to Town-sliver
Rockies-Fernie Ski Resort view to Town-sliver

Other Links

Fernie Attractions

Mount Fernie Provincial Campground

4.8 km east of town

This area is popular for mountain biking and the opportunity for fishing in the nearby Elk River.

Fernie Alpine Resort

5 km southwest of town, off highway 3
5339 Fernie Ski Hill Rd.
Fernie, BC V0B 1M6
Fax: 250-423-6644

Known for Legendary Powder,this world-class, destination ski resort combines ski town atmosphere with tons of history. With an annual snowfall of over 29ft, varied terrain including 5 unique bowls over 2,504 acres, and lodging options from ski-in/ski-out chalets to 5-star hotels.


Island Lake Lodge

602A 2nd Ave, Fernie, BC V0B 1M5

Nestled in the mountains, Island Lake Lodge offers stunning natural surroundings and outdoor activities including hiking, mountain biking, and cat skiing during winter.

Fernie Museum

491 2nd Ave, Fernie, BC V0B 1M0

This museum , on the main street, showcases the history and culture of Fernie and the Elk Valley region through exhibits, artifacts, and educational programs.

Coal Creek Heritage Trail

Interpretive signs located along the trail, Fernie, BC

A self-guided walking trail that provides insights into the region’s coal mining history with informative signs and beautiful natural scenery.

Fernie Ghost Tour

Starting point varies, Fernie, BC

This guided tour takes you through the historic downtown area, sharing spooky tales and local legends of Fernie’s past.

Fernie Aquatic Centre

250 Pine Ave, Fernie, BC V0B 1M0

A modern aquatic facility with a pool, hot tub, water slides, and fitness amenities, suitable for individuals and families.

Fernie, BC Area Map