As a teenager, Terry Nelson moved to Fernie with his family after many summer visits. By the early 80’s he was bushwhacking through alder thickets and seeking out hunting and game trails in pursuit of now well-trodden peaks including the Three Sisters and Castle Mountain.
He recalls some of the first trails in Fernie – the Moccasin on the face of Mt Fernie and a series of interpretive trails at the current site of the Montane Trail System. Local trail luminaries including Barry Hulburd, Sean Staplin, Heiko Socher, Pat Gilmar, Gerry George, Eric Mutcher and others began to extend the trails and forge new routes for hiking and biking in and around Fernie. The Fernie Ski Trails and Touring Club was the first official trail club for Fernie. With funding from the BC Forest Service, trails at Fairy Creek and Olivia Creek were two early community projects.
As the president of the Fernie Trails Alliance for the past 7 years and instrumental in many trail building initiatives long before that, Nelson has long advocated for an extensive trail network for the Fernie Area. He recognized a need for a guide book and started work on the project several years ago. the Fernie area Hiking trails and Natural Plant Compendium will assist hikers in locating trailheads, assessing difficulty and navigating mountain terrain. A keen plant enthusiast, Nelson has included a compendium of plants that he has identified in the area, along with quotes and anecdotes to enhance the narrative. The book is not intended to be a definitive guide, he’s keen to note – more of a companion to assist hiking enthusiasts in making the most of Fernie’s incredible trail system.
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