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An abandoned train. Right: An abandoned building.

An abandoned train. Right: An abandoned building.

Alberta is packed full of stunning mountains and lakes but if you want to head off the beaten track for an afternoon, this ghost town is just outside of Banff and there's an old train, a mine and ruins to explore.

Bankhead, which has been dubbed the "20-year town," is just 15 minutes drive away from the town of Banff, but it's like stepping back in time to see what remains of the abandoned mining town.

According to Atlas Obscura, the town was set up in 1903 and in its heyday, around 300 people worked in the coal mines beneath the town which supplied to Canadian Pacific Railway.

The busy town had homes, shops, community buildings, and a school. However, the poor quality of the coal in the mine and labour strikes led the mine to close in 1922 and residents left shortly after.

If you're keen to explore the secluded spot, the 1.1-kilometre Lower Bankhead trail has tons of places to stop and read about the town's fascinating history and a ton of artifacts to see on the way.

You'll be able to explore abandoned mining buildings, coal trailers and even a small train that would have been used to transport coal in the region.

Not only is Bankhead worth the eerie adventure, but you also get stunning views of the surrounding mountains including one of Mount Rundle from the viewpoint.

Once you're done exploring the ghost town, you can head to some of Banff's most stunning spots including Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake.


Address: Bankhead, AB

Why You Need To Go: You can wander and explore this old deserted mining town right in the centre of Banff National Park.


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