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The Ghost Town Hidden Beneath the Surface of Lake Minnewanka

Located in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, Lake Minnewanka is a picturesque 13-mile-long lake surrounded by towering mountains.​ However, what many visitors do not know is that beneath the serene surface of the lake lies the remnants of a once-thriving ghost town.

The Origins of Lake Minnewanka

For centuries, the area around Lake Minnewanka was inhabited by the Stoney people, who referred to it as Minn-waki, meaning ″Lake of the Spirits.″ They held a deep respect and fear for the lake due to the presence of resident spirits.​ Early European settlers dubbed it ″Devil’s Lake″ before it was officially named Lake Minnewanka.​

In the mid-1800s, the village of Minnewanka Landing was established near the lake. It quickly became a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from nearby Calgary who would come to enjoy the lakeside resorts and partake in activities such as boat trips across the lake.​

The Tragic Fate of Minnewanka Landing

Despite its initial success, Minnewanka Landing faced a dark future.​ In 1912, a portion of the village was flooded due to the construction of a dam for a nearby hydroelectric plant.​ This submerged a significant part of the town, but it continued to thrive for several more decades.​

However, in 1941٫ another dam was built٫ raising the water levels by 98 feet and submerging the remaining parts of Minnewanka Landing. The entire ghost town was swallowed by the lake٫ preserving its buildings٫ streets٫ and remnants beneath the frigid waters.​

The Eerie Beauty of Lake Minnewanka Ghost Town

Today, Lake Minnewanka’s ghost town lies silently below the surface, hidden from view but adding to the mysticism of the area.​ Scuba divers are drawn to the lake to explore the eerie underwater landscape and catch glimpses of the submerged buildings and artifacts from the past.​

While the ghost town remains hidden, the surrounding forests teem with wildlife, including mule deer, bears, wolves, elk, bighorn sheep, and a variety of bird species.​ Visitors can enjoy the scenic drive to the lake and its shoreline, offering a chance to spot some of the park’s famous wildlife.

Is Lake Minnewanka Worth Visiting?​

Absolutely!​ Lake Minnewanka is not only known for its ghost town but also for its breathtaking natural beauty.​ The crystal blue waters set against the backdrop of majestic mountains make it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.​

In addition to exploring the ghost town, visitors can partake in various activities such as hiking along the Alymer Lookout Trail, biking the Minnewanka Lakeside Trail, canoeing on the lake in the summer, or even taking a scenic boat tour. The area offers numerous opportunities for adventure and relaxation.​

Whether you’re fascinated by history, fascinated by the paranormal, or simply seeking a serene and beautiful natural setting, Lake Minnewanka and its ghost town are sure to leave a lasting impression.​