The Lazy Lizard, a seven-kilometer multi-use trail, is now completed and open for public use. The building of the trail was spearheaded by Fernie Trail Alliance, and built on Island Lake property.
“The way this works is that the Fernie Trail Alliance has various land use agreements with private land holders and in that land use agreement, it speaks to things like trail construction and maintenance, and various things like that, and so this trail is part of our land use agreement with Fernie Trail Alliance,” said Doug Feely, CEO of Island Lake. While the trail is built on Island Lake property, it is the Fernie Trail Alliance that will be responsible for most of the maintenance.
The trail was designed to be a trail that all levels of skill can enjoy – from novice to expert. The start elevation is 1046 meters and climbs to 1385 meters over the seven kilometers. The trail features elevated boardwalks and wooden bridges that intertwine through a second growth forest, and is complimented by views of the Lizard Range.
“It’s a beautiful trail. It’s getting a lot of use now, which is good. It was intended to be a used trail. I think it’s probably more novel right now and I think over time the use will spread out,” said Feely, “It’s new and exciting and it’s getting a lot of ridership and use but I think that will get spread out over time a bit.”
The trail was built in four different phases, spanning over four years, and was completed late last month. Feely says that they are happy with the results. “I think we’ve achieve is some success in building a trail that would be suitable for various users, from families and children to novice riders to expert riders and kind of everything in between. That was always our goal was to have a real cross-country trail that would be suitable for various users and various age groups,” he said.
Feely said that Island Lake is looking at potential options to continue enhancing other trails. “Our goal is to make sure it tied into the rest of the Fernie Trail system as opposed to being it’s own entity up here,” he said. He mentioned that Island Lake is working on that would allow, if completed, riders to go from town to Island Lake with minimal sections on a road.