Although Bow Valley Campground closes to campers each winter, area trails are still accessible for winter hiking, birdwatching and photography. Visitors can tailor the hiking distance to suit the weather conditions and the capabilities of the group, with routes ranging from 2 to 10+ km,
Now part of Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, the former Yamnuska Natural Area features a network of unsigned trails that weave around multiple ponds and small lakes. With lots of options for out-and back and loop hikes of various distances, it's a good destination to explore with kids. Just be sure to stay away from the south end, which neighbours the area's landfill!
An easy, half-day winter hike/snowshoe to a narrow mountain lake. Expect to share the trail with skiers, snowshoe hares and spruce grouse.
Fall is a great time to undertake the long hike to Aylmer Pass in Banff National Park. Next time we'll do the Lake Minnewanka Trail portion on mountain bikes so that we have the time/energy to make the side trip to Aylmer Lookout.
Most of the hiking guidebooks we own strongly recommend the trail to Sunset Pass. But the trailhead is a two hour drive from Canmore (three hours from Calgary). That's a pretty big investment of time and gas money. So this one stayed on the "someday" list for years before we finally got around to it in mid-September. Too bad we put it off for so long!