Banff National Park was the first such park established in Canada. It encompasses 2,500 square miles of pristine Alberta territory, nestled up against the Rocky Mountains. That makes it a paradise for outdoorsmen, with a number of activities in summer and winter alike.
Hiking and Camping
Banff National Park contains 13 campgrounds and an equal number of trails for day hikes. They are open all year, but the park cautions against using them when the weather is bad.
Swimming and Canoeing
Banff's waterways are often too cold to go swimming. The town boasts a number of artificial swimming areas, however, as well as a mineral spa. Canoeing opportunities are available on the Bow River in the National Park.
Skiing and Skating
Snowfall from December to March facilitates cross-country skiing in Banff National Park. Officials also allow ice skating on natural waterways, though they caution against skating when conditions aren't safe.
In the summer, Banff National Park offers climbing on the peaks of the Rockies. In the winter, ice climbers can test their skills against the park's frozen waterfalls.
Fishing and Horseback Riding
Banff National Park permits fishing in some areas (provided you have a license) and horseback riding along its trails (provided you make reservations in advance).