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Damage to catwalks closes portion of Banff's Johnston Canyon trail

A section of catwalks on the Johnston Canyon trail is closed indefinitely while parks staff attend to recent structural damage.

Park spokesperson says it's not known when the closure will be lifted

The upper falls of Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park and an engineered walkway in the lower canyon are seen in these file photos. (Robson Fletcher/CBC)

A section of catwalks along the extremely popular Johnston Canyon trail in Banff National Park has been closed indefinitely after a routine engineering inspection deemed it unsafe.

The engineers discovered damage to the footings of a section of the trail, so it's closed indefinitely. The closure will impact the trail to the upper falls where it intersects with the catwalk that leads to the lower viewpoint of the Upper Falls, said David Dunbar, a spokesperson with Parks Canada.

"It is not clear yet exactly what has caused the damage, but Parks Canada officials and engineering professionals are assessing the infrastructure," Dunbar said in an email.

The trail to the waterfalls is extremely popular and sees hundreds of hikers daily during the summer, according to the Town of Banff.

A map provided by Parks Canada shows the section of Johnston Canyon that is closed in red. (Parks Canada)

The section closure will not impact access to the upper viewpoint of the Upper Falls, the Ink Pots or the viewpoint at the Lower Falls.

"Parks Canada understands that this closure will have some impact on the experience for visitors to the area and local businesses that use the attraction," Dunbar said. "However, the majority of the Johnson Canyon trail remains open and safe for public use.

"The closure is clearly marked and Parks Canada asks all visitors to respect the closure for their safety as officials assess the damaged infrastructure."

Dunbar said there is no timeline for lifting the closure and updates will be provided when available.

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