Elk River Colliery #9 Mine is a 4.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Fernie, BC that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Visiting the #9 Mine requires a 7 kilometre moderate cycle or drive up Coal Creek Road and a 3.5 kilometre climb up an old mine road to the coal mine ruins. This mine closed in January of 1958 when Crows Nest Pass Coal Company ceased operations at the Elk River Colliery. 284 men lost their jobs in the three mines along Coal Creek due to declining coal markets and the company’s deci- sion to continue with the Michel Colliery instead. The company had carried out large-scale coal mining along Coal Creek since 1897. At the site you can see the old tunnels (blocked by cave-ins) that were driven into #9 seam and ruins of the ventilation fans, electric hoist and retarding conveyor buildings that hauled coal out of the mine and to the preparation plant down the mountainside. In 1950 the #9 mine purchased the first underground diesel locomotive (100 hp) to be used in any mine in British Columbia. This contributed to hauling coal from the mine that was producing 500 tons per day with 104 men. Severe geological com- plications restricted development and mining was reduced to extracting coal pillars and was nearing completion in 1957.