Our friends have been raving about the amazing mountain bike trails and fly fishing in Fernie for years but it wasn't until this week that Kevin and I got to experience Fernie for the first time for ourselves. We were only there for a day and a half but we loved our quick introduction to Fernie and one of the cool things about Fernie is that it's the kind of place that you can figure out and enjoy right away. The main street with it's historic buildings is handsome and filled with delicious restaurants and creative shops. We were extremely lucky to get to visit the gorgeous Island Lake Lodge to photograph a wedding and it is a must visit destination for the incredible hikes and bike trails all of which can end with the best burger I've had at the Bear Lodge. We stumbled across an old growth Cedar forest with 800 year old trees that left us in awe in our short time there. We were thankful to have recommendations from friends on Places to Eat in Fernie and found some gems we loved. Great food, warm hospitality, breath taking nature and talented artists all in one handsome town.
Our timing was perfect for our visit because we got to see Michael Hepher's painting exhibit at the Fernie Museum. Michael owns and operates Clawhammer press and I've been lucky to have him create some letterpress work for me in the past. If you visit on a Friday or Saturday you can visit Michael's Clawhammer Studio and might even get to glimpse him running a press. A great place to pick up hand made art!
I was thrilled to wander past Polar Peek Books & Treasures on Main Street and discover by accident that my favourite author has a new book out. That was a nice surprise to see it in the window.
Coal Town Goods is a tiny well curated shop packed with beautiful handmade work. If you are looking for a Fernie souvenir you'll find lots of great options here and some super hilarious cards as well.
After filling our bellies with chocolate chip pancakes and the best Americanos at Blue Toque we wandered out and saw fibre artist Kate Moran hanging a handmade bunting sign that read "open" on an old school bus. Curious we wandered over to step inside her newly renovated beautiful schoolbus that now operates as her Ace Ferguson studio and shop. I loved her "phraselets" that she handstamps and ties. I came away with a Fernie bracelet for a gift.
Kate Moran in her beautifully newly renovated Ace Ferguson school bus studio & shop.
These Free Bike Washes are a thoughtful feature in a mountain bike town.
Island Lake Lodge is a stunning must see destination in Fernie. There are gorgeous mountain bike & hiking trails that lead to the lodge and you can be rewarded with a delicious lunch with mountain views at Bear Lodge.
A 2 minute walk from Island Lake Lodge leads to the lake with a beautiful easy trail around the lake and canoeing. With canoe rates recently soaring upwards of $70-$125/hour in Lake Louise/Moraine Lake/Emerald Lake it is refreshing to find a spot with $20/hour canoe rentals.
The Bear Lodge has a patio with spectacular mountain views and delicious food. The "Bolter" Burger shown below is a combination of pulled pork & beef patty that I didn't even know existed but was happy to discover. :)
As we drove down the hill from Island Lake Lodge we saw the beautiful sign for the Old Growth Forest trail with 800 year old Western Red Cedars and stopped to walk the trail just as the sun was setting. It was an incredible trail where I wouldn't of been surprised if I had witnessed a fairy wearing an acorn backpack wander by.
Our brief introduction to Fernie was a great experience and we can't wait to return. If you've been to Fernie what are your favourite places & experiences?