The Banff Canoe Club rents out canoes and kayaks to give visitors the chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of busy downtown Banff throughout the summer.
Paddlers take in stunning views and scenery, including Mount Rundle, one of the most photographed local peaks, as they explore an easy part of the Bow River, or paddle along Forty Mile Creek into Vermilion Lakes – three lakes located immediately west of Banff known for their natural wonders and cultural richness.
“People love it because it’s the serenity of it,” said Tanya Price, general manager of Banff Canoe Club, which is located on the banks of the Bow at the corner of Wolf Street and Bow Avenue.
“They get to escape some of the bustling streets and get back to nature. Even though there are other canoes on the water, you do feel like you’re far away from downtown.
“People like that they are in the park and doing something in nature – and it’s the view too that people like.”
Banff Canoe Club’s canoe rentals won Best Bang for your Buck in Banff as part of the Rocky Mountain Outlook’s 2019 Best of the Bow reader's choice awards.
Renting a canoe or kayak for one hour costs $45 per boat, and $25 per boat for each additional hour. Rentals include basic dry land canoe tips, throw bag and bailing bucket, life jackets, safety whistle, paddles and information tablet about the river and wildlife.
Price said she’s really excited that Outlook readers recognized the good value of canoe and kayak rentals in its 2019 Best of the Bow results.
“We do really try to keep the rentals affordable for both locals and visitors,” she said. “Our whole mandate is trying to make the sport of canoeing accessible to everyone.”
A Wildlife on the Bow Tour is also offered during the season, where paddlers get the opportunity to see wildlife such as bald eagles, elk, muskrats and perhaps even beavers.
“It’s not about wildlife spotting necessarily; it’s learning about wildlife and how to safely interact with the wildlife and being respectful of wildlife,” Price said.
“It’s more like an interpretive tour where we try to teach visitors about the wildlife we have here, their habitat, how to manage any kind of encounter, and not feeding the animals.”
The Banff Canoe Club is now closed for the season and reopens mid-May.