Situated about halfway up the western slope of the Crowsnest Pass and surrounded by snowcapped peaks, Fernie (population 6,090 including surrounding Regional District Area A) has a timeless charm. The main street is comprised of end-to-end heritage buildings that have changed little in a century. When more than half a century of active coal mining came to an abrupt end in the 1950s, Fernie set about creating a brand new identity for itself – as a mecca for outdoor recreation. Winter offerings include skiing, snowboarding, cat skiing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. In the spring, when snow reluctantly retreats from the Elk Valley in the Kootenay Rockies, new possibilities are revealed. These include flyfishing, hiking, river rafting and mountain biking.