More Campgrounds for Canada’s Banff Park
The new Banff National Park Management Plan has a target of increasing the number of park visitors by 2% every year for the next five years — it’s just one of the new goals outlined in the document that puts more emphasis on tourism and visitor experience.
The final plan was tabled by Parliament last week and details a host of visitor-centric goals along with the park’s ecological mandate, according to the Banff Crag & Canyon.
Along with the goal of increasing the number of visitors — of which the park already records 3.2 million of annually — the plan calls for a broader range of opportunities to appeal to more markets like young people and new Canadians. Things like new special events and recreational activities will be considered, however, with activities like zip lines and via ferratas part of a national park’s assessment that’s still not complete, the Banff plan doesn’t speak to them specifically.
What the plan does call for in terms of recreation is increasing cycling opportunities. The park intends to restrict traffic to one-way on the Minnewanka Loop — during the portion of the year it’s fully open — to create a dedicated bike lane.
There’s also a plan to develop a ring trail around the town that is fully wheelchair accessible.
Campgrounds and trails are also on the list, with intentions to renew campgrounds to welcome new campers while catering to RV users, and improving official trails while decommissioning unapproved ones that have a negative environmental impact.
These are just some of the many actions called for in the lengthy document that will be in place for the next 15 years, with reviews coming up every five years.