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Cycle the Bow Valley Parkway in Banff National Park
The Real Banff / Published: Thu, 06/04/2020 - 11:26

New Experiences in Banff National Park

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The beauty of Banff National Park will never let you down. The reassuring sweep of the mountains is timeless, and waits to greet you all year round.  

The raw splendour of this place remains untouched, but we’ve made some changes to make sure you can enjoy it in safety and comfort. And change can be a wonderful thing. 

The communities of Banff and Lake Louise are committed to ensuring visitors and locals are protected while exploring our unforgettable destination. Together with Parks Canada, we’ve cooked up creative solutions that come with bonus silver linings.  

Wildlife hotspot - cycle or walk the Bow Valley Parkway 

There’s a stretch of road between Banff and Lake Louise that is rife with the opportunity for adventure. Much of the Bow Valley Parkway runs through a close embrace of evergreens that opens to stretches of stunning alpine meadow without a moment’s notice. Reality seems worlds away, and the high possibility of sighting wildlife keeps your eyes busy amongst the deep greenery.   

Right now, sections of this road have been closed to vehicle traffic. This means cyclists and pedestrians can explore without interruption on the section of the Bow Valley Parkway between Banff and Castle Junction, an opportunity that currently has no end date.

Banff Avenue with views of Cascade Mountain
Emma Mulheran
Banff Avenue

Pedestrian-friendly Banff Avenue 

In our opinion, Banff is already one of the prettiest towns out there. From June 5 to mid-September, its appeal will be further increased by a three-block closure of Banff Avenue to cars.  

Take your time strolling this spacious precinct, browsing local retailers and sampling specialty cuisine as you drink in the magnificent views of Cascade Mountain. Who knows what this newly created space will inspire? Keep an eye out for updates from local vendors. 

Cycle to Johnston Canyon trailhead 

Just five minutes of Instagram research and you’ll be putting Johnston Canyon on your list of must-dos. It’s a world of crystal streams, tumultuous waterfalls and staggering rock faces, all easily viewed from a well-maintained walkway.  

The trailhead is located on the section of the Bow Valley Parkway reserved for pedestrian and cycling traffic for an undefined amount of time, making it all the more secluded and inviting. Cycle the 25 kilometres from Banff, park your bike and explore on foot for a day full of alpine adventure. 

Family Hiking Johnston Canyon
Johnston Canyon

Cycle-only lane on the Minnewanka Loop 

The sight of Minnewanka will make the breath leave your body in a gush of wonder. Gleaming blue waters and a wide horizon of mighty peaks will make you want to linger at Banff National Park’s largest lake – so why not jump on your bike and make a day of it? 

For the first time this summer, one lane of the Minnewanka Loop will be dedicated to cyclists. Safety measures are currently being implemented to allow the launch of this project, so watch this space for a start date.  

Reserved entry times for the Banff Farmer’s Market 

A high quality of fresh produce, artisan goods, and flavoursome food have made Banff Farmer’s Market an instant favourite among all who visit.  

Held every Wednesday from June until mid-October in Banff’s Central Park, the market has introduced a ticketed entry system that allows shoppers to browse with plenty of personal space. You can also wait in line if you happen to be strolling by, but book your free entry slot online and cruise straight through to the rows of local delights. 

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Plan Your Stay

Browse and book accommodation and lodging packages with our trip planning tool. To learn about the different types of accommodation available in Banff and Lake Louise, visit our Places to Stay page or Contact Us to speak to a local expert.