Forget ghost towns, those are so last summer. If you’re looking for a truly spooky-and-adventurous area to explore in Canada, you gotta go underwater, because aquatic ghost towns are the “it” travel destination of summer 2018.
Okay, well, maybe not, but the idea of exploring an abandoned ghost town completely submerged in water is a pretty cool concept. And in a Canadian National Park, you can do just that.
Inside of Banff National Park in Alberta rests Lake Minnewanka. A seemingly standard lake, the body of water (that stretches 13 miles in length) hides secrets beneath its surface, something you can only discover with scuba gear.
Back in the day, like in the late 1800s, Lake Minnewanka was known as , a summer resort-of-sorts for folks living near Calgary, as Smithsonian.com outlines in their post on the area.
Eventually the small lodging, which was the site of a hotel, grew to become a bustling hamlet, with cottage houses, hotels and restaurants.
But the good times wouldn’t roll forever. In 1912 a portion of Minnewanka Landing was flooded due to the construction of a new dam for a nearby hydroelectric plant.
Then, in 1941, a new dam was built, raising water levels by 98 feet and completely submerging Minnewanka Landing.
Ever since, all that can really be seen is Lake Minnewanka, but the remnants of Minnewanka Landing can still be found and explored beneath the body of water.
The cold waters of Lake Minnewanka have actually preserved the buildings and structures that made up the old town quite well. Ice-cold water preserves would pretty well, so with scuba gear, you can literally swim into the hotels and houses of the former Minnewanka Landing.
A detailed list of exactly what you’ll find beneath the lake’s surface can be read here.
In fact, about 8,000 scuba divers head into the waters of Lake Minnewanka each year to do just that.
To see exactly what's in store for you once you don your scuba gear and dive down to the depths of Lake Minnewanka (because you are going to, obviously) here are a couple of videos as a preview.