Subscribe via RSS Feed

Wigwam Flats and Silver Springs Rim Biking

Filed in Biking, Hiking by on April 18, 2014 • views: 3342

This spring our biking activities outward from Elko and along the Rocky Road (motorized closure) to the Wigwam Flats is causing a big issue with wildlife concerns. Bighorn Sheep are lambing along the Wigwam River Rim and the Silver Springs Lake Rim when we have our maximum visitations by mountain bikers. This activity has increased hugely in the past 5 years and all mountain bikers must help to mitigate our negative effect on the Bighorn Sheep herd. We must stop biking in the lambing areas and we must have our dogs under control 100% of the time or best not to bring them with us. Ewes and lambs are constantly being moved off the grasslands and onto the cliffs by the increase in biking and dog traffic. The Wigwam is an Access Management Area patrolled and monitored by Conservation Officers and you will be ticketed for wildlife offences if you do not comply.

We are in discussing’s with the Ministry of Environment to get a workable plan approved so that we can continue biking without having a negative effect on the wildlife populations and viability of the grasslands that are subject to invasive noxious weeds.

Stay on the red track which is old roads. Stay off the blue track along the Wigwam Rim which is old roads and some single-track.

Silver Springs Rim may be approved if we behave ourselfs and not venture beyond the track shown in red.

Below is my recent email discussion with Ministry of Environment wildlife officers.

Thanks Pat. Doug and I will review attached maps and proposal soon. I very much enjoyed our afternoon out at Wigwam Flats. Great discussion.

Take care


From: Burley, Patricia ENV:EX
To: Pat Gilmar ( (
Cc: Teske, Irene FLNR:EX; Martin, Doug FLNR:EX
Subject: FW: Spring Riding in South Country

Hi Pat,

Thank you for keeping me in the loop. I had a good afternoon with you and Irene yesterday. I’m glad this agreement will be moving ahead. I’ve cc’d Irene and Doug for you as contacts.

Talk to you soon,


From: Pat Gilmar []
To: ‘Terry Nelson’;
Cc: Burley, Patricia ENV:EX; Paddy Gilmar; ‘Dan Savage’
Subject: RE: Spring Riding in South Country

Bike riding in late March to mid-May has sent a lot of us to the south country for the past thirty years. Wigwam Flats and the Dorr Road – Elk Rim will continue to be important to both wildlife and mountain bikers. We just have to get more involved with the wildlife biologists and work out a solution.

The main issue with the Wigwam Flats is the Bighorn Sheep lambing season that happens the same time that we have been riding there. With increased biker visits in the past five years both riders and dogs are constantly moving the pregnant ewes and young lambs off the grasslands and onto the cliffs. This can be mitigated in two ways: don’t ride the Wigwam Rim and don’t bring your dog. On the attached map the blue track (old road and horse trails) should not be ridden until after the sheep have moved to their summer retreats. The red track is what the wildlife biologists would like us to stay on until mid-June when the area is opened up to motorized visitors.

Silver Springs Rim Trail was illegally built (like most of the Fernie trails) but is mostly in a non-lambing area. It climbs an old road through the trees, joins the old hiking trail along the rim in the trees and then descends mostly in the trees. Bighorn Sheep ewes do not hang out there in lambing season. Cougars and other predators like the tree cover, not pregnant sheep. The lambing areas are in the open spaces along the Silver Springs Rim to the north and to the south of the Silver Springs Rim biking trail.

The FTA can reach a compromise with the Ministry of Environment by:

1) Riding only the main road on the Wigwam Flats until the motorized opening on June 15th to July 15th . The motorized access is only on Rocky Road and the lower Wigwam Bench (apple orchard).
2) Stay off of the pipeline road to the north of the Wigwam Flats road. The animals hang out there also.
3) Sign the blue tracks as open for riding only after June 15th and until October 31st. The ewes and lambs should be mostly gone by then.
4) Apply to Lisa Cox (Crown lands) to sanction the Silver Spring Rim Trail as a hiking and biking trail. Make sure that no one rides the rim to the north and south of the existing biking trail.
5) Apply to Lisa Cox to get the blue tracks on the Wigwam Flats (blue tracks) as bike trails between June 15th and October 31st. The FTA can install a Kiosk at the parking area gate and install signage along the route.
6) Ask all bikers to leave their dogs at home. Who is going to handle a dog on a line while they are biking downhill?
7) We can also put in more effort to help with the weed control. Most of the weeds are spread by animals and wind across the grasslands. We need to stay on the designated trails and show that we can keep them weed free.
8) Wildlife biologists understand that we want to recreate, we just have to give them a workable plan and convince them that we can help enforce it.

Pat Gilmar
Fernie Trails Alliance
Fernie Trails and Ski Touring Club

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.

Related Stories

Fernie Trails Winter & Summer 2019

The Fernie Trails & Ski Touring Club is pleased to announce the new Fernie Trails Winter & Summer 2019 membership. This membership includes Montane 4-season access, winter grooming, cabin access, summer trails and a FTA trail supporter pass. The “Fernie Trails Winter & Summer 2019” membership is available here for Winter & Summer 2019 $40/individuals […]

Fernie Backcountry is closed

All hiking and biking trails in Fernie and surrounding area are closed. This included our cabins; Thunder Meadows, Montane and Tunnel Creek. Unfortunately our Harvey Hut burnt in the out-of-control Lodgepole fire on the weekend. In the interest of public safety, effective at noon Pacific Time on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, all Crown land within […]

Fernie Lucky 7’s Funding

The Fernie Transrockies Society (FTS) launched their latest mountain bike event, the Fernie Lucky 7’s, June with a round of applause from the participants. And the participants represented riders from BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Montana and Idahio! The Fernie Trails & Ski Touring Club received $1400 for supporting the event. Ian Stokie and crew marked and […]


Porky Blue 2017 will be on Saturday August 5th. Registration for this year’s Porky Blue will start on Monday July 24. Registration will be on the Zone 4 website for this year’s event. Late registration will take place from 8:00 – 9:30 the morning of the event. Please note only the first 100 participants will […]

2016 Winter Grooming on Montane Trails

Montane Blue groomed for biking Fernie Trails & Ski Touring Club has groomed 10 kilometers of ski road (Montane Green) and 10 km of multi-use (Montane Blue) for snow shoes and fat bikes. All the trails are signed and please do not walk or bike on the Montane Green roads that are groomed for Nordic Skiing […]

Lazy Lizard Connector – Bridge Completed

Lazy Lizard Bridge in Mount Fernie Park About 50 hours of volunteer time to build and install the Lazy Lizard Bridge last week. All of the cedar wood was donated by Alex Hamilton and his partners from the Alpine Trails condo development. Cheers to the Thunder Ridge crew who fundraised for this project last year. […]

Coal Discovery Trail – logging activity this summer

Jemi Fibre logging along Ridgemont Road and Coal Discovery Trail Jemi Fibre will be logging north of Fernie along the Coal Discovery Trail during the next few months. Some parts of the trail will be temporarily blocked during this activity and falling trees will be a hazard. Stay away from the active logging and turn […]

Lazy Lizard Connector ready for riding

Finished the trail link from Stove Trail across Mount Fernie Park to Lazy Lizard Trail on late Saturday, July 9. This 1,800 meter  connector is ready to hike or ride as it gets sun dried, but is a bit soft until it gets compacted by tires and hikers. There is still a 10 meter bridge to build but […]

Columbia Basin Trails Meeting

See the attached meeting summary for the Columbia Basin Trails Meeting held June 10-11 in Fernie. Included in this summary are links to a number of websites that were referenced at this meeting and a link to an FTP site that hosts all of the resources we accessed at the event. Download here: TrailsMeetingSummary2016june20 As […]

Lazy Lizard Connector to Stove Trail is a GO!

Today we started the Lazy Lizard connector to Stove Trail. This is a big FTA project for this year that we had applied for to BC Parks over one year ago. This is Phase 5 of the Lazy Lizard Trail and involves about 2 kilometers of tree falling, brush cutting, excavator digging and numerous Thursday […]

Fernie Trans Canada Trail 2016

  The FTA has started building new sections of the Trans Canada Trail in the Fernie area. The first 1.6 km are being built on the Montane property from Montane Trail (Ruby’s Way section) to the River Road Extension bridge over Coal Creek. An additional 2.5 km of the existing Montane Trail will be upgraded with water […]

Kushiest Cleanup May 19

The final chapter of the Kush-Kusier-Kushiest trilogy was repaired tonight by the FTA trail crew of 15 men and a boy. All sections available for riding now with new improved bermations by noted author Casey Berms. Rumor has it next book will be a rewrite of Purple Monkey Dishwasher on Thursday night, May 26.      

FTA Kush Trail cleanup May 5

Our FTA trail crew had our first official work party on Kush Trail last night (May 5). About 15 of us got the majority of the logging debris from this winter’s logging operations sawed up and cleaned off the trail. The trail tread was nicely preserved in almost all the operations area, many thanks to […]

Fernie Brewing Donates

The Fernie Trails and Ski Touring Club (FT&STC) is very pleased to announce that Fernie Brewing Co. (FBC) donated $3671.64 to our club. Lets give a big thanks to FBC! This February 16th to March 31st, FBC featured the FT&STC in their “Cheers to Charity” fundraising program. The funds will help with ongoing trail and […]

Montane Winter Usage Map

The map can be downloaded for printing here at Montane-winter-map 3

Porky Blue 2016

The 7th annual Porky Blue is scheduled for Saturday July 30th and is celebrating the 25th year of Fernie Trails and Ski Touring Club! This is a classic Fernie social ride, it’s not a race, however is a challenging ride. $40 plus a $4 admin fee signup includes shuttle, water station, safety sweep, FT&STC membership, […]

Montane Winter Usage Map

The map can be downloaded for printing here Montane-winter-map 3

Fernie Trails Alliance AGM

The FTA AGM will review the year, select new board members and discuss what’s planned for the coming year. The FTA needs fresh directors and input from trail users, be sure to attend.

Fernie Hotel Meat Draw Donation

The Fernie Hotel has been a long time supporter of the Fernie Trails and Ski Touring Club and the Fernie Trails Alliance. They have hosted numerous mt. bike and trails events at their establishment over the years, including the ever popular Porky Blue Ride. On Friday May 29 the FTA was presented with a cheque […]

Fernie 3 Volunteers Needed

The Fernie Transrockies Society is seeking volunteers to help with the Fernie 3 all mountain stage race. As in past years the Fernie Trails and Ski Touring Club has helped with the course setting in exchange for a generous cash donation to the club and for you…some swag, beer, food and a cool t-shirt. Course […]