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Montane trailhead will be moving to new location

Montane trailhead will be moving to new location
Trail users seeking access to the Montane Trail Network will no longer be able to access trails from the Montane trailhead. A new trailhead will be located at the corner of Montane Pkwy and Cokato Rd.

Representatives of Parastone Developments in Fernie say they heard the community loud and clear when they reached out for feedback in 2022. And one of the issues is trail access to the multi-use, and extremely well-used, Montane trail network.

There are several major projects in Montane, Fernie about to begin, including a brand new trail head to access the Montane network, a new 50 plus site campground, and an engineered environmental wetland to be constructed on Parastone lands.

“It’s important that development projects like ours add to the fabric of what makes Fernie such an attractive place to live, play and visit,” said owner and general manager of Parastone Developments, Simon Howse.

The new trailhead will be located on the corner of Montane Parkway and Cokato Rd. The existing trailhead on Coal Creek Rd (the Montane Bridge Trailhead) will be decommissioned to make way for better and more accessible trail access, said a press release from Parastone.

“We understand the existing trailhead is very popular and well-used, thanks to third-party data from Tourism Fernie that proves it’s used the most out of every other trailhead around Fernie, every month of the year,” said Howse. “So that’s why we plan to have a new trailhead in place and connected to the Montane trails before we proceed with any other aspects of our master plan for the area.”

At the same site on the corner of Montane Parkway and Cokato Rd, Parastone will also be setting aside land for, and developing an engineered wetland that will preserve the natural environment and create a new publicly-accessible wild space in town. More information on that project will be released as work comes closer, Parastone says.

Works that require the Montane Bridge trailhead be closed include a new 50 plus site campground on the south side of Coal Creek with easy access to the Montane Barn.

More detail will be released on the future campground as that project comes closer.

In the release it was stressed that the Montane trail network will be unchanged except for how users access it.

“We want to assure the public that besides some changes at the trailhead, everything else you love about the network is going to be either unchanged, or further enhanced for the future,” said Howse.

There will be intermittent trail closures while construction is underway, but all closures will be well-posted and managed to allow alternate access while construction is underway.

The release says that construction will begin as soon as weather and conditions allow, and permitting is in place.

Looking ahead, Howse said that Parastone were excited to be forging ahead with long-term plans for the Montane neighborhood, which when completed will include the new trailhead, shops and a brewpub as well as a protected wetland and park in the site at the corner of Montane Parkway and Cokato Road, as well as the upcoming 50 plus site campground.

“We at Parastone want to lean into what makes Fernie a great place to live, and tourists just happen to like it too,” said Howse.

READ: Rezoning paves way for next stages of Montane Fernie

READ: Parastone reveals high-level concept plans for Montane Development in Fernie

Carolyn Grant

About the Author: Carolyn Grant

I have been with the Kimberley Bulletin since 2001 and have enjoyed every moment of it.
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