Located in the heart of Canada’s first national park, the town of Banff has a unique relationship with its surrounding environment. Coexisting with nature and wildlife are ideas that are ingrained into every resident, but such initiatives would not be possible without the cooperation with millions of people who come to visit each year. To show you how best to help, here are our top tips for respecting this incredible location.
Interacting with animals
One of the main draws for so many visitors to the town is the chance to see some of Banff National Park’s incredible wildlife. While this is, of course, a wondrous experience here, it is always important to remember these are wild animals and even docile creatures like deer can become panicked and cause potential accidents when they feel threatened. Make sure to give them plenty of space, stay in the car or vehicle, and never attempt to feed them. Guided sightseeing tours are a great way to learn about animal habitat. Your guide can advise you on the best way to interact with them so as not to spoil your (or their) good time.
Leave no trace
There are so many beautiful walks and hikes around Banff and the surrounding area, and it is the responsibility of everyone who enjoys these to make sure that they are kept looking pristine and as true to nature as possible. While there may not be too many garbage receptacles to found off the beaten path, it is important you bring all litter and food waste with you as well as anything else you have brought along for the journey. If you leave a spot and it looks like you were never there (save footprints in the snow), then you’ve done it right. If like exploring the winter trails on your own, check our rental fleet of snowshoes, cross country skis or ice cleats. But remember to always stay on marked trails and do not disturb the natural habitat.
The garbage bins around Banff are specially designed to stop animals from foraging in them for food, as well as minimising odors which may attract them in the first place. There are numerous bins located around the town so, if one is full, it’s best to carry your litter with you to another one than leave it besides or on top as this could become an attraction.
Many establishments around Banff now refuse to carry straws due to their impact on the local and global environment (and others will only provide them to children). However you can purchase reusable straws in the grocery and souvenir stores around Banff for a more ecologically friendly way of draining your drinks.
It’s always tempting to take a memento home of your trip and, while it may not seem much to take a small item from the surrounding area, this could easily have an adverse natural effect if it became common practice for the millions of visitors to Banff every year. Take our advice and visit one of the many great souvenir shops on Banff Avenue instead.
We thank you for helping us to keep our mountain town and National Park pristine, so they can be enjoyed for many years to come.
Photo Credit: Noel Hendrickson
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