Description provided by Editors
Discover the tranquil, scenic side of town. Begin at Central Park where Banff Ave meets the Bow River; enjoy riverside picnic sites and the Banff Park Museum; a National Historic Site with 100-year-old animal displays. Take a stroll north along the mostly paved Bow River Promenade past the Banff Canoe Club with boat rentals. Continue to the 2-km (1.2-mi) Fenland Loop Trail that follows Echo Creek and Vermilion Lakes wetlands bird and animal habitat. Return to Central Park and cross the Bow River Bridge. By the stately Parks Administration Building are Cascades of Time Gardens with paths, ponds, streams and flowers. Return to the river; go right (east); it’s a 1.2-km (.8-mi) river walk to Bow Falls, then the historic Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. Alternatively, go left (west) and walk the Sundance Trail along the river, 1.5 km (.9 mi) to the Cave & Basin with birth-of-Banff exhibits and boardwalk trails to springs, the cave vent and a warm water marsh. En route to the Cave & Basin is fort-like Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum with First Nations displays, just beside is the Recreation Grounds with a playground, picnic sites and Warner Stables horseback tours. Pick up free maps for self-guided town tours at the Banff Visitor Centre, 224 Banff Ave (or other outlets). The Banff Historic Walking Tour is a 25-block (1.5-hr) route to 57 residences from 1887; museums, churches and public buildings—all flagged with interpretive plaques. The Banff Culture Walk offers galleries, museums and historic sites.
Begin at Central Park where Banff Ave meets the Bow River; here is the Banff Park Museum National Historic Site with Victorian animal displays. Stroll Bow River Promenade north to 2-km (1.2-mi) Fenland Loop Trail (Map 3, 13C) along Echo Creek and Vermilion Lake wetlands. Return to Central Park and cross the Bow River Bridge. Go left for the 1.2-km (.8-mi) riverwalk to Bow Falls and historic Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. Or, go right (west) after crossing the bridge and walk Sundance Trail by the river 1.5 km (.9 mi) to the Cave & Basin. See birth-of-Banff and WWI internment exhibits, boardwalks to springs, the cave vent and a warm water marsh where plants thrive in winter. En route to the Cave is fort-like Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum with First Nations displays. Free brochure maps for self-guided town tours are at Banff Visitor Centre, 224 Banff Ave.