March 30, 2023
Adventures For All The Family In Banff National Park
Banff is an adventure seekers paradise-but does it cater to all ages?
Banff, being the oldest national park in Canada, is one of the countries most visited areas. The park welcomes on average 3.6 million visitors a year, almost the entire population of Alberta. A 2022 blog posted on Planet Ware rates Banff as the second most visited area in Canada. Niagara Falls being the first. Given that not everyone visits at the same time, this is still a phenomenal number of people coming and going throughout the year. The town council has implemented many strategies to manage this high number of visitors. With such a high transient number, Banff has activities to suit all ages and capabilities.
When you visit Banff, you can’t help but be captivated by its beauty. Nestled in the middle of the Canadian Rockies the town boasts breathtaking views in every direction. The enchanting mountains and lakes surrounding the town make it a hiker’s utopia. If you are new to hiking or are an avid mountaineer, adventure awaits in Banff National Park.
Hikes vary in difficulty. Tunnel Mountain is a relatively easy hike that reports serene views of the town and surrounds. This hike is accessible to people of all ages. The trail is relatively smooth and easily navigated. This one is good for bringing children along. It takes about 1.5-2 hours to complete and is worth the reward.
If you fancy a bigger challenge Mt. Rundle tower’s over Banff and is not for the faint of heart. Not truly accessible in winter, this is a breathtaking summer venture. A round trip hike on Rundle takes on average 8 hours. Being prepared for this feat is necessity. Bring plenty of water and energising foods. Be sure to wear good footwear and hiking poles are advisable. This hike is not recommended for inexperienced hikers or children. The trail has loose gravel. Some scrambling will be obligatory on this adrenaline pumping experience.
The introduction of fat bikes for winter riding has opened a whole new world of adventure for biking enthusiasts. Banff has many fat biking route’s of varying levels. Green and Blue runs are available around the townsite.
Road biking is extremely popular in the Bow Valley. The surreal views and landscapes make a 100km bike ride seem like a breeze. Take the 1A past Johnstons Canyon to Lake Louise from Banff and bask in the glory of one of Canada’s most scenic routes.
The legacy trail is an undemanding highly trafficked paved path linking Banff and Canmore. Bring the kids along and spend the day exploring. The ride takes anywhere from an hour onward, depending on how long you want to spend enjoying the sights along the way.
Enjoy an ice cream by the river or a taco from a double-decker Leyland Titan Bus on Main Street, Canmore. Have a leisurely cycle back or take the regional transit.
If mountain biking is more your style, fear not Banff has ample trails available for your enjoyment. Varying in difficulty, Tunnel Mountain has an exceptional trail network. Cruise through the campground loop and stop at the viewing points, take in Banff from a different stance.
If you are feeling more daring, use your mountain bike to it’s fullest potential and take a ride down Star Wars. A flowing tail with jumps and wooden features to get your adrenaline tingling.
Starting in Banff, cyclists meander the continental divide all the way down to Antelope Wells, New Mexico. At 4300 km and 200,000km elevation gain this long ride is for the more advanced rider.
The trip needs to be planned out expertly and efficiently. Believed to be one of the first bikepacking routes, you could ride a piece of biking history.
If you’re here during the colder months a great activity for almost all ages is cross county skiing. There are options for smaller children to be pulled in a sleigh. Trails are accessible from the townsite. The series of tracks available from Banff vary in difficulty.
Tunnel mountain trails are perfect for first timers. Zig zagging through a summer use campground, it’s a great place to test out a new sport. Bring the family along to enjoy a fun filled day.
If your feeling the need for a greater exploration the trails by Lake Minnewanka might be the perfect spot for you. Multiple adventure’s await at this scenic lake with a fascinating history. While exploring the area on your skies be sure to stop and read the informative signs dotted along the trails. Pack some snack’s and make it a full day out by skiing Cascade valley and lunching at the abandoned home of the Carleton’s. The former residence of a veteran who became a Park Warden on his return from World War 2.
To learn more about downhill skiing click here.
The Fenlands Recreation Center has an indoor NHL sized arena and also curling available. It is available midweek for drop in and can also be booked should you want to host a hockey game. They also boast an outdoor meadow rink. It is around 5000 sq ft and it is open until 8pm each evening.
If wild ice is more your style, you have come to the right place. Many of the lake’s surrounding Banff freeze and are usable for skating. Freezing clear, it’s a surreal feeling skating along and being able to see the lake floor beneath you.
Lake Minnewanka is a short drive from the townsite and it's a well-known stop for skating in winter. Nestled in the middle of multiple mountains its charming views add to this magnificent wild ice lake.
Banff is a wanderer’s paradise. Each path you take leads to a new experience in any of the mountain seasons. There is multiple equipment rental shops ready to assist you in your next adventure. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. Put on those skates, buckle up a bike helmet, push your self on a hike. Banff National Park is an enjoyable experience for all ages. With varying difficulties for all activities, you might surprise yourself and learn a new hobby.
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