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Fernie’s Lazy Lizard Trail complete

Friday, August 14th, 2015

The Lazy Lizard Trail is now complete. After 4 years of planning and construction, the Lazy Lizard has now been completed up to Island Lake Lodge. The project was a joint effort and well supported by: The Fernie Trail Alliance, The Fernie Mountain Bike Club, Fernie Trails and Ski Touring Club, Columbia Basin Trust, ZINC Ventures, Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI fund), private donations, numerous volunteers and Island Lake Lodge. Backcountry Trail Experts constructed the majority of the trail supplemented by Fernie trail volunteers and the Island Lake Trail and Glading teams.

The trail is designed for various ability levels including novice and young riders. As it is machine built and extra wide, the trail can accommodate both up and down traffic. Smooth even grades with berms and wide bridges; make it an excellent family trail.

Trail highlights include steel frame wood decked bridges (some over 6.0 m. spans), elevated boardwalks, an undulating path through a spectacular Old Growth forest, spectacular view points of the Lizard Range with the uphill terminating at the lodges of Island Lake. Trail users can enjoy a cold drink, lunch or dinner before relishing in the flowy descent.

Please use caution on the trail and be aware of other riders.

Length: 7 km

Elevation Gain: 339 metres

Start: North side of the Island Lake property gate

Fernie 3 All-Mountain Stage Race

Monday, April 6th, 2015

The Fernie 3 is a classic all-mountain stage race with a focus on fun and the best singletrack stages anywhere.

The distances for the 3 day stage race will be moderate with an average of 35 km per day. The climbs will be attainable with the goal of providing you with the epic downhills.

The event offers a single stage option and U16 and U14 categories.

Click here for more information.

Fernie’s High Roller

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

This is Fernie’s premier big day ride featuring a collection of Fernie’s best single track!
What you get: A fun day of riding sweet Fernie singletrack, t-shirt, dinner and after party at the Royal!!
Sign up here:

Cost: $45 if you register before September 27, 2012, $50 after*
* Must be a Fernie Mountain Bike Club member

Fernie’s Snake Bite

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Snake Bite is just that, when you least expect it you’re bitten, and the trail has ridden thet way from its creation in the late 90’s. Originally built as a downhill it has become a challenging uphill loop for its sister ride Verboten. Snake Bite connects FAR’s Red Tree traverse with Gorby trail at the bottom of Old Goat.

See here is Snake Bite ridden in its original downhill direction.

Fernie’s Southern Comfort

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Fernie’s Southern Comfort is new this year and it a sweet and smooth high speed roller. The trail head is at the corner of the next switch back on Castle Rocks after South Castle. Southern Comfort reconnects with South Castle and provides a great down alternative to Hyper Extension and South Castle.

Thanks to the great vision and hard work by those who built the trail!

Fernie’s Hyper Extension

Friday, August 26th, 2011

This 20 year old trail has become a popular downhill with the addition of a connecting super-climb called Hyper Ventilation. Here is an excellent video of a decent:

Cycling trail to draw international attention

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

A system of cycling trails is being proposed for the Crowsnest Pass and Municipal District (MD) of Ranchland.

Wade Abeli, who is working with Community Futures Crowsnest Pass as a consultant, told Ranchland council June 7 that there is a project underway for a 140 kilometres mountain bike trail development through the Pass and north into Ranchland.

“The original plan was a tourism cluster development,” Abeli said.

The project is a rural diversification initiative to promote non-motorized recreation within the Crowsnest corridor, Abeli told council, which will have a spin-off of economic increases for area businesses.

The trail system, which will include 10 looped mountain bike paths and a mountain bike skills park, are being given a rubber stamp of approval by the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA), which is being involved in the development of the trail master plan.

The plan also includes an epic trail. Only four epic trails exist in Canada, and these draw riders from all over North America.

“Epic trails attract a certain kind of rider — the cream of the crop — the ones who tend to stay and spend their money within the community as well,” he said. “Having an epic trail would be a very large drawing card.”

The IMBA has recognized international guidelines, Abeli told council.

“Their basic premise is everything is built to sustainable standards, with minimal impact to the environment” Abeli said.

The plans and maps are available on

“Where we’re at today is we have a draft master plan in place that the IMBA has developed for us, as well as a group of proposed trails,” said Abeli. “We are now in the referral process.”

Alberta Sustainable Resources Development (SRD) and Alberta Tourism have been given the master plan, and various departments of SRD are looking at it. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and Alberta Environment are not involved in the process, because it isn’t applicable, he said. The Nature Conservancy has said it was not compatible with their view of land management.

“A few of the trails that are proposed in this plan are within the MD of Ranchland. None of them are on private lands, though,” said Abeli. “We thought it was very appropriate to approach you and get comments.”

The trail development will not use existing cutlines, accesses or trails, because of the requirement of width, slope and grade, and will built by hand.

Four summer students have been hired, working by shovel and chain saws, building the trail and cutting small saplings and deadwood.

The initial focus is the ski hill in Blairmore.

“It’s central and mostly private land, owned by Devon and under recreational lease to the municipality,” said Abeli.

A skills park will also be built at Blairmore.

The second area of development will be at the Allison/Chinook area, he said, which fits in with the forestry land use zone. This network will be a prime venue for hosting provincial or national cross-country races.

He told council that in meeting with Tourism and Parks, everyone seemed very comfortable with the idea of the cluster trails, which fit with the planned recreational land use of the area.

The trail system will also double as a snow shoe path, he said, giving it an additional use in an alternate season.

The trails would be able to be used for bike races, which require a single track.

“IMBA designs everything on a stacked loop system,” he said.

Cyclists will have to ride through easy trails to access intermediate, then hard trails and expert trails, and finally the epic trail. All trails have an average grade of 10 per cent or less, with a maximum grade of 15 per cent, and will be sloped to shed water easily, he said. The master plan states that a maximum grade of 30 per cent is allowed on the expert trails.

“There will be constant grade reversals so water doesn’t have an ability to get any momentum,” he said.

The easier trails will be natural surface, using natural mineral soil in the work area or imported mineral soil and material, but the more advanced trails will use natural mineral soil.

Council told Abeli that one of the Ranchland mandates is to reduce environmental impacts and reduce off-highway vehicle (OHV) usage in the area.

“To be honest, the number one question is how are you going to keep dirt bikes off it,” said Abeli. “ATVs aren’t going to be a problem because it’s not wide enough.”

However, he noted that it would be almost impossible to keep OHVs off the trails, and that it would ultimately be an enforcement issue.

“The odd quader will try it.”

Abeli said they have also been asked who will be responsible for maintaining the networks.

“We will be building a sustainability plan. The thought right now is that the local club (United Riders of Crowsnest) will adopt this process and keep it moving forward, in that we are looking at that as a volunteer-based program and it will flourish or die,” he said.

Ag fieldman Carla Bick asked about the viability of the network if there was nobody to maintain it.

“At the moment, Community Futures carries the liability,” he said. “This is a slight vulnerability if the club folds and there’s trails that have been developed.”

Although 140 kilometres have been proposed, it is not certain if all the network will receive approval for all of the proposed trails.

A trail can cost between $5,000-$30,000 per kilometre, he said.

“It’s pretty safe to say that the project is around $2 million. We don’t have that, not even close.”

To draw riders from Calgary, they will need to have about four hours of trail ridership time, he said.

“If we end up with 100 kilometres of trail built, we could be servicing hundreds, if not thousands, on the trail network,” he said. “If you build it, they will come.”

10 Things IMBA Canada did for Mountain Biking in 2010

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Here is a list of the top 10 things IMBA Canada did for mountain bikers in 2010!

1. Built incredible trails

Our trailbuilding professionals teamed with IMBA Canada partners, clubs, and volunteers across the nation to build and design more sustainable, fun-to-ride singletrack than ever before. This fall, more than 145 km of trail was designed in Crowsnest Pass, AB alone.

And thanks to members like you, the 2010 Canadian Trailbuilding Fund helped to support five pro-bono trail projects, including consultations with the National Capital Commission, the Town of Tilsonburg, ON and the Grand River Conservation Authority, among others.

2. Organized advocates at the provincial level

In September, 2010 IMBA Canada launched the Canadian Regional Leadership Advisory Council program to coordinate our efforts and expand our reach by bridging the gap between local IMBA Canada affiliated clubs and IMBA Canada’s national office. With support from Mountain Equipment Co-op, RLACs facilitate communication and networking between IMBA Canada affiliated clubs within a region, and provide IMBA Canada with representation on a provincial level.

3. Put a Canadian Trail Care Crew on the road

No IMBA program has touched more people, or improved more trail miles than the Subaru-IMBA Trail Care Crews, now in their 14th year in the United States. Every week their mobile classrooms bring together trail enthusiasts of all stripes to learn about sustainable trail design and work together side by side.

Thanks to partners Parks Canada and Trans Canada Trail, 2010 was the year to put our very own Canadian crew on the road. The IMBA Canada Trail Care Crew meets with trail groups and land managers and spreads the word about IMBA Canada. To read more, check out the 2010 Trail Care Crew Impact Report.

4. Made your voice heard

IMBA Canada staff and representatives provided a voice for mountain bikers at the Parks Canada National Assessment on Mountain Biking in March, resulting in new opportunities and guidelines for the activity in our National Parks, Historic Sites and Marine Conservation Areas.

5. Put kids on bikes

The 2010 edition of the International Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day was by far our biggest and most successful yet, with more than 1,500 Canadian kids participating, and close to 21,000 worldwide!

6. Parked a bike at the table

In November, IMBA Canada’s executive director attended the National Trails Leadership Roundtable on behalf of Canadian mountain bikers — ensuring our place in the trails community, as national collaboration and strategies are developed.

7. Rallied the bike industry

From the largest manufacturers to the smallest retail shops, IMBA has built a great network of supporters in the bike industry who work together to raise funds and keep trails open to bikes. IMBA Canada rallied the bike industry to work more closely with advocates and riders at the 2010 Decline Symposium in Whistler.

8. Invested in new technology

Last spring, IMBA Canada upgraded our back-end system (CMS for you techies), allowing us to better store, manage, and interact with our members and website users. The new system also allows members to log in to check their membership status and customize how we communicate with them.

9. Cultivated partnerships to expand our reach

We’ve continued to grow and develop our national partnerships with Parks Canada and the National Capital Commission — Working together on projects like the Canadian Trail Care Crew, and providing pro-bono consulting services in Gatineau Park. IMBA Canada also added the Trans Canada Trail to our list of national partners in 2010, signing a Memorandum of Understanding with them in June.

10. Grew our team of trail advocates

2010 has been a big year for capacity building for IMBA Canada. Not only have we added more programs to our Canadian offer, but we hired three new full time staff, including a communications coordinator, bringing our team to eight and giving us more clout in the Canadian trails community.


Monday, September 20th, 2010

This year’s event is going back to basics. No registration fee, no prizes, no
organized BBQ at the end. Just a great day out riding Fernie’s great trails
with your friends and a potluck BBQ and bonfire to finish the day off. And of
course a round of poker…. oh ya, and bring some cash if you want to have a
few drinks out of the keg!

Not quite feeling up to doing the full ride? Want to help out with the feed
station? Organize your own fun event on trail? Just ride a few trails? Just
want to party? Then come on out! Everyone is welcome to come out and
celebrate another great year of riding in Fernie.

DATE: September 25th

MEET: Dirt Jump Park behind Aquatic Centre. @ 8:00AM

1. Hyper Ventilation> Hyper Extension
2. Ridgemont Road> Broken Derallieur> Oh Deer
3. Mad Cow> Swine Flu
4. Phat Bastard> Mushroom Head> Lactic> Moc-Assassin> Mocassin> Slunt>
BONUS CARD = Project 9

Potluck BBQ and Bonfire at Springside Park (Nelsons) behind Riverside. (BBQ
will be available. Drop off your food in the AM for transport to BBQ site and
Refrigeration.) BBQ starts after 4PM.

Event runs Rain shine sleet or snow.

If you can have any questions or want to help out with anything please email
me at

IMBA’s Nominate Your Favorite Trail for Epic Status

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

In upcoming weeks, IMBA staff will select the 2010 class of Epic® mountain bike rides. You can nominate your favorite trail online — just be sure to complete the entire web form, which will require more than a few minutes of research and writing. The rides that make the cut will be announced in the fall issue of our quarterly print newsletter, IMBA Trail News.

What ingredients create an Epic ride? Many Epics are remote backcountry journeys that feature adventurous riding and incredible vistas. We also spotlight riding opportunities that break the mold and deliver innovative solutions, like Ray’s Indoor Bike Park. The essential components of great trails include engaged land managers, skilled trailbuilders, community involvement and dedicated volunteers, so many Epics feature engaging backstories that highlight these elements.

“For me, personally, and for thousands of mountain bikers around the world, Epics are the must-do rides that are worth planning a vacation around or making a special trip to ride,” said Mike Van Abel, IMBA’s executive director. “Part of what makes them so great is that IMBA chapters, clubs and individual members play important roles in developing and caring for these rides.”

Epics are part of IMBA’s Model Trails program, which honors a variety of trail design types ranging from small-footprint Gateway Trails to expansive Ride Centers. Epics rank high among IMBA’s best-known programs, counting more than 50 trail systems that have been honored over the last decade.

Epic rides evolve over time — IMBA needs your help in maintaining and improving our online Epic resources. If you’ve ridden one of the Epics recently and feel that the ride information needs to be improved or expanded, please send an e-mail to with “epics” in the subject line. Many of the ride descriptions currently lack GPS mapping or trailhead latitude/longitude coordinates. Photos and updated logistical information for the rides would also be greatly appreciated.