Alliance adds new trails at Montane, Fernie
Parastone Developments, creators of Montane, Fernie, announced last week the new additions to the town’s multi-use, non-motorized trail network.
Constructed in partnership with the Fernie Trail Alliance (FTA), three existing trails located on the land of Fernie’s newest community have been upgraded, and a new trail that links them together is now complete. Mountain bikers of all ages can now enjoy a safe and diversified riding experience.
Following one year of trail building and upgrading, the FTA has completed the first phase of construction on the Montane Trail. Crosscountry riders can now enjoy a 10-kilometre loop on varied terrain. Catering to beginners, the ‘Montane Green’ trail that spans four kilometres and was previously a forestry logging road, has been upgraded to double track. As an alternative to ‘Montane Green,’ more advanced riders can test their skills on six kilometres of new single track on ‘Montane Blue.’
Accessible from Coal Creek Road, the Montane Trail conveniently feeds into three existing trails and allows for easy access to Fernie’s Castle Mountain trail network.
“The majority of the new trails at Montane are classed as green and blue single track and cater to families and intermediate riders,” says Pat Gilmar, a director of the Fernie Trail Alliance. “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.
“Use of the Montane Trail has increased hugely since the upgrade was completed. The trail currently sees several hundreds of visitors per day by locals and traffic doubles on the weekends with out-of-towners coming out to experience some of the best trails in Canada. The popularity of this trail justifies the time and effort we invested in improving it. It’s not only mountain bikers that will enjoy an enhanced experience; trail runners and hikers, as well as those skiing and snowshoeing in the winter will also enjoy the trail,” Gilmar stated.
Further construction by the FTA included adjusting the main existing trail at Montane called ‘Uprooted’ to accommodate the future development. Route changes are now complete on ‘Roots Trail,’ located at the south end of the property, which has seen its grade reduced to improve erosion control. ‘Resurrection,’ located on the north end of the property, has also been upgraded. There are currently 14 kilometres of trails at Montane for riders to enjoy.
“Some of these trails have been here as long as 20 years and we respect that,” says Simon Howse, general manager of Parastone and investor in Montane. “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.”
According to Gilmar, it took approximately a dozen FTA work parties consisting of 20 volunteers on average to complete the upgrades since they began in July 2014. An additional, four kilometers of single track that is rated moderate blue or easy black is estimated to be complete by snowfall.
The FTA is responsible for all for non-motorized trail, management, construction and maintenance on Crown lands and private lands in the Fernie area.
Above photos: Fernie Trail Alliance volunteers work on trail upgrades at Montane, Fernie . Photos courtesy Fernie Trail Alliance