THEY WILL NEVER KNOW THE BEAUTY OF THIS PLACE, SEE THE SEASONS CHANGE, ENJOY NATURE'S CHORUS. ALL WE ENJOY WE OWE TO THEM, MEN AND WOMEN WHO LIE BURIED IN THE EARTH OF FOREIGN LANDS AND IN THE SEVEN SEAS. DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF CANADIANS WHO DIED OVERSEAS IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY AND SO PRESERVED OUR HERITAGE
When coming off the Highway from Calgary - instead of turning left into Banff - TURN RIGHT! You will enter BANKHEAD, an historic site.
Bankhead was a coal mine in the early 1900's that became a town, until the coal mine shut down. Very interesting history here. All residents were eventually forced to leave their homes.
You'll have to visit and read the plaques to learn the rest of the story. ;-)
(Sorry - it's just cause I can't remember it all! :P)
The foundations of many buildings still remain today. You may walk the entire site in about an hour (unless you like to look at EVERYTHING - like me!). There are so many little details to check out. The walk is quite simple. Mostly flat.
I would recommend this. It's fun and it's free!
On my last trip to Banff - it rained the whole time. Although the site is outdoors, we visited anyway. It was a BLAST!
Check it out. I think that most people miss it! Don't be one of these!
Lake Minnewanka Rd., 7.4 km (4.6 mi) from Banff
We were able to see the Royal Canadian Mounted Police do their "Musical Ride", in formation with their beautiful Hanoverian horses. The show started with Buffalo Nation dances and a high school bagpipe presentation. All in all, it was very enjoyable.
I am always looking for something that the locals are going to in town. Immerse oneself in the culture.
... and no bigger than an orange seed.
The unique Banff Springs Snail lives in the warm springs of the Cave and Basin National Historic Site.
The snail is no bigger than just 5 mm, so you will find it hard to see these very tiny animals.
See for more info: http://www.pc.gc.ca/nature/eep-sar/itm3-/eep-sar3a_E.asp
On your way to/from Banff to Lake Minnewanka (north of Banff) at least take one time the Minnewanka Loop.
It is a very scenic drive along the 'Two Jack Lake' and we were surprised by the amount of 'big horn sheep', which were grazing along the road and close to the water. I'm sure you will most probably see (lots of) these nice animals and sometimes very close.
Close to the lake and car park are several picnic spots.
Lake Minnewanka is situated just some kilometres north of Banff and will take about a 15 minutes drive. It is not so overcrowded like other places around Banff.
Just sit along the lakeside in the middle of the impressive scenery of the Rocky Mountains, take a stroll to Stewart Canyon or enjoy one of the boat tours (daily from mid May to mid October).
Walk to the top of Sulphur Mountain (2.285 m); it will take about 75 minutes. Enjoy the forest with lots of squirrels and the wonderful views over Banff, Bow River Valley and surrounding peaks.
The track is signposted at the car park near the gondola station. When we reached the top, we really could say: "we made it to the top".
We went down with the gondola and didn’t have to pay for this ride (a tip of our host of Odenthal B&B; see accommodation tip).
Lake Louise is about 1 hour North of Banff. It's talked about pretty commonly if you are in the area as a place to check out. Essentailly, it's just big pretty lake (depending on when you go). During the summer, the lake takes on a light green color, that which you typically see on the post card. The winter isn't as pretty but if the sun is out then you can get a pretty good picture. Mine was taken on a partly cloudy day with the sun just having set behind the mountain.
They have a huge hotel that's rather nice. I don't know the exact cost but I would imagine it being 2-300 dollars a night. They have a restaraunt inside and a deli that is reasonably priced. Well, I don't know about the restauarant, but the deli is. They also have a souvenier shop inside as well.
Head on out to Johnston Canyon. It is about a 30 minute drive from Banff.
Great trail hiking down in here. I especially love to watch the ice climbers in the winter at the lower falls!
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