Hiking restrictions begin as grizzly bears feed

It’s that time of year again.

From now until Sept. 15, seasonal trail restrictions are in effect for Lake Minnewanka Trail from Stewart Canyon Bridge to the east park boundary, Aylmer Pass Trail and the Aylmer Lookout Trail. Lake Minnewanka is a key area for grizzly bears in Banff National Park because it has lots of buffaloberries, which are in season. They are a vital food source for grizzly bears.

One has already been spotted in the area this week, according to Steve Michel, a human-wildlife conflict specialist with Banff National Park.

“We had a grizzly bear on a carcass in that area yesterday,” he said Tuesday. “Not related to feeding on berries, at this point, but definitely we have grizzly bears during the mid-summer months — particularly females with their offspring — that frequent that area quite regularly.”

To ensure public safety and protect the grizzly bears, hikers are asked to stay in tight groups of four or more, and carry bear spray at all times.

No cyclists are allowed on the Lake Minnewanka Trail and dogs are not permitted beyond the Stewart Canyon bridge.

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