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The Best Picnic Spots in Banff

picnic-in-banffIt’s time to bring out those picnic chairs and sample some of the best family picnic spots in Banff!

If you’ve chosen the Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets as your hotel in Banff, chances are you already have the groceries for the perfect picnic from your in-room kitchen. Head out for the day from your hotel in Banff to enjoy the scenic views and sandwiches.

Close to Home

Banff Recreation Grounds 

  • Location:  Banff, across the Bow River Bridge near the Luxton Museum.
  • Facilities: 18 tables, 2 kitchen shelters, 2 toilet blocks.

Cascade Gardens

Located in the grounds of the historic Administration building, Cascade Gardens are beautifully landscaped gardens that are the perfect setting for a picnic.

  • Location: Banff, Administration building

Banff’s Back Yard

Cascade Ponds

You’ll find this open space just 5 minutes from Banff. Great spot for kite flying!

  • Location: Lake Minnewanka Road, 7 km from Banff.
  • Facilities: 60 tables, flush toilets, kitchen shelter, and fireplaces.

Lake Minnewanka

Pull up a picnic chair at this iconic spot! Afterwards you can enjoy an hour long boat cruise around the lake to work off that lunch, before heading back to your Banff hotel.

  • Location: Lake Minnewanka Road, 10 km from Banff.
  • Facilities: 35 tables, flush toilets, 3 kitchen shelters, 2 fire rings, 6 fireplaces.

Johnston Canyon

Enjoy the easy hike to Johnson’s Canyon Lower Falls (or the Upper Falls if you’re feeling active) and reward yourself with a picnic after! Perfect day out from your hotel in Banff.

  • Location: Bow Valley Parkway, 25km from Banff
  • Facilities: 2 tables, toilets

Johnson’s Lake

With easy trails surrounding the picnic area and a picturesque lake to paddle in, this is a perfect family picnic spot.

  • Location:  Lake Minnewanka Road, 14km from Banff
  • Facilities: 16 tables, toilets, 3 fire rings
  • Locals Tip: See if you can find the elusive rope swing or the secret beach!


Take a rest stop on the Bow Valley Parkway at this scenic picnic place. While you’re there, see if you can spot the peculiar ‘hole in the wall’ cave halfway up the mountain!

  • Location: Bow Valley Parkway, 15km from Banff
  • Facilities: 10 tables, toilets

Enjoy this low cost, family activity on your next trip to Banff!

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