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Trails Master Plan
Trail ProjectsBow River TrailTrails Master Plan
 Current and Upcoming Projects  Trail Network  Trails Master Plan

Current and Upcoming Projects

Bow River Trail Closure – Work to commence in early October, 2016
This project includes the permanent closure of braided trails that parallel the Bow River Trail between the pedestrian bridge and Bow Falls on the south side of the river, as well as the installation of wood/metal park benches along existing sections of the Town of Banff’s trail system. The trail closures are recommended in the 2014 Banff Trails Master Plan - Action 22. These trails are negatively impacting the riparian habitat, are frequently flooded and are difficult and costly to maintain. Additional trail benches will be used as part of the trail closure efforts and will also provide users with opportunities to rest along the trail system, to socialize with friends and family, and to enjoy the surrounding flora, fauna and breathtaking views. Please obey all closures.

Middle Springs Trail Improvements
Improvements will be made to the Middle Springs Trail, between the Park Administration Grounds to Fairholme Place, August 18 to September 2. Parts of the trail will be closed during this work. Please obey all closures. Improvements include trail widening and minor regrading. 

Cycling Improvements
Town council approved several initiatives at the July 18, 2016 meeting to extend the Legacy Trail and make cycling a safer experience in Banff. They include:

ExtensionLegacy Trail Extension
A 230 metre extension of the Legacy Trail will be installed on Banff Avenue to the crosswalk at Marmot Crescent to give cyclists a safe way to cross four lanes of traffic. Currently, the Legacy Trail east ends at the bus turnaround by the Inn of Banff hotel, and no safe option exists to cross Banff Avenue to continue riding into the townsite. The extension will bring the trail to a crosswalk, where cyclists can safely cross Banff Avenue and continue riding downtown. It’s estimated this extension will be installed in 2017.


Shared street bike markings, known as sharrows, will be painted on Banff Avenue, from Marmot Crescent to Cave Avenue, indicating the road is shared with cyclists. Sharrows help show the ideal cyclist position, and remind vehicles they’re sharing the road with bikes. Temporary white sharrows will be installed this year, and following paving work in 2017, permanent green markings, similar to those adjacent to the YWCA of Banff, will be installed.

Speed Limit Reduction
The maximum speed limit on Banff Avenue will be reduced from 40km/h to 30km/h for cyclist and pedestrian safety. Currently 30km/h exists on Banff Avenue in a playground zone, and that will be extended along the entire street to create a safer experience for all cyclists travelling to and from downtown. New speed signs have been installed to indicate the change.

No Year Identified Capital Project for Greenway
In addition to the initiatives above, council approved a new No Year Identified section of the capital budget to include a cycling greenway. The project is for a dedicated one-way greenway on both sides of Banff Avenue that will be created by reducing the width of the centre median. This would allow all four lanes of traffic, and parking, to remain on Banff Avenue. The project is budgeted at $6 million. Because it is listed as No Year Identified, no work will proceed until council associates a year with the project. Council is scheduled to review it again during the 2017 budget deliberations. 
Greenway concept
*Concept image of a cycling greenway.

Rules of the Road
Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as a motor vehicle. When riding, you must obey traffic rules:
  • Yield to pedestrians 
  • Hand signalsStop at stop signs
  • Avoid distracted driving
  • Use the correct hand signal to indicate a lane change
  • Ride single file except when passing
  • Do not ride on the sidewalk
  • Dismount at the end of the greenway, or when using a signalled crosswalk, and walk your bike across the street
  • Anyone under 18 years of age must wear a helmet

Motorists must yield to greenway users and pedestrians when turning or accessing a driveway. Follow the rules of the road so everyone can have a safe journey. Learn more about bike regulations and responsibilities.

Trail LightingRecommended Action 57 - Lighting
Banff’s trails are typically not lit. The Trails Master Plan recommended consideration of lighting Priority 1 trails to improve safety and to extend their use.

Lighting trails, however, impacts the night sky of the national park, increases operational and energy costs and consumes more electricity, expanding our footprint.

 Recommended Action 3
Trail bollards.JPG

Bollards have been installed to create a new roadside trail under the vehicle bridge. Pedestrians and cyclists can now travel on their own dedicated trail from the Recreation Grounds to the pedestrian bridge. This is recommended Action 3 in the Trails Master Plan.

Trail Network
Banff has a vast network of trails throughout the town and national park. The following is a list of trails within a walking distance of the townsite or easily accessible by Roam Public Transit. Download a copy of the Banff Trails Map (PDF).

Trails MapHiking Near Banff Townsite

Trails in Lake Minnewanka Area and Beyond

Check Parks Canada's Trail Conditions Report before heading out and Important Bulletins about area closures.

Trails Master Plan
The Trails Master Plan will be used to help guide the development of trails and trail maintenance in the Town of Banff for the next 10 years. Adopted by council on February 23, 2015, the intention of the plan is to help the town create a more robust trails network to support recreational uses, visitor experience and a more sustainable active transportation system.

Download a copy of the Trails Master Plan (PDF)