Fernie’s trail system will be receiving an upgrade, specifically on the Montane Trail loop. Parastone Developments, creators of a recent neighbourhood in Fernie, announced on Aug. 20 plans to upgrade three existing trails and connect the trails. In partnership with the Fernie Trail Alliance, the Montane Trails hopes to serve cross-country riders of every skill level.
“The majority of the new trails at Montane are classed as green and blue single track and cater to families and intermediate riders,” said Pat Gilmar, a director of the Fernie Trail Alliance (FTA) in a press release. “Advanced riders can test their skills on more challenging trails, that feed into the greater trail network. Riders of all abilities can now enjoy a safe and fun riding experience.”
The way that the trails are designed and laid out, all of the residences in the Montane neighbourhood will be no more than 100 meters away from a trail or walkway.
The Montane trail is a 10-kilometer loop which features three offshoots, varying in difficulty. The Montane Green trail spans about four kilometers and is double-tracked, while the Montane Blue runs six kilometers on a single-track trail. A more advanced offshoot trail called Uprooted is currently under construction. The Montane Trails are accessible by the Coal Creek Road.
Overall, with the help of the FTA, there are 14 kilometers of trails at Montane. Starting in July of 2014, the upgrades took the FTA a dozen work parties consisting of approximately 20 volunteers. According to Gilmar, an additional four kilometers of more advanced trails – rated moderate blue or easy black – will be completed by late fall or early winter.
“The vision of it is to have a trail that is rideable for five to 85, so anyone could feel comfortable on it, safe on it but still have a lot of fun,” said Simon Howse, general manager of Parastone Developments. “We will continue to work with the Fernie Trail Alliance to build and maintain a safe and sustainable trail network for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy.”