Canada 150: An Eastern Canada National Parks Tour — Stop 3. Kejimkujik

Mountain Life founder Glen Harris is getting back behind the camera where it all began. In celebration of Canada’s 150th he and his clan just left on a on three-month Eastern Canada National Parks tour.

This week they explored Kejimkujik National Park, in Nova Scotia. Keep a lookout for our photo essay series in the coming months. For daily updates you can follow Glen on Insta @glenedwardharris.

 

Mi’Kmaw storytelling on Merrymakedge Beach.
Words and photos: Glen Harris
Kejimkujik National Park can be summed up in three Canadian words: Rivers, Trails, Lakes.

Boasting over 400 square kilometres in total, Nova Scotia’s Keji boasts eight major Lakes, four main rivers, and 47 km of trails. Keji delivers.

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Sunset cliques.

Kejimkujik is a Mi’kmaq word meaning ‘tired muscles’ and that’s quite fitting considering all the self-powered travelling you’ll do here.

The bike trails at Keji ride more like gravel commuter lanes with boardwalk and canopy and they’ll take you to the sunset, along rivers, lakes, and an amphitheatre.

 

Slapfoot Beach at Keji offers the best sunset swim in the Park.

River paddling is mellow, with little current for upstream exploring with ease. Upper sections offer a little spicier tubing, cascading over rideable rocky slides and flat water.

 

Mersey River commute.

The lakes have a Muskoka feel from the top. Below the waterline is darkness: dense vegetation and aquatic decay mixed with slate runoff creates opaque black water. It’s quite a sight from the paddleboard. It makes you wonder what’s lurking down there.

 

Mary showing off her four millennia of Mi’Kmaw history.

 

Giant hemlocks make this 5 km loop a shaded canopy treat dubbed the Hansel and Gretel Trail due to the dark world under the canopy.

According to Mi’kmaq folklore, Aquabat lies in the depths waiting to steal men who swim in these lakes. She’s looking for husbands. She’ll take the boys, too. She’ll pull them below the surface and keep them until they grow up. She grabbed my leg once but I never caught the photo.

 

Making friends along the way.

As for accommodations, this was our first oTENTik experience. This smart design is a mix of tiny A-frame with a prospector tent and amenities include a solar light an iPhone port, propane heat, table,
and beds for 6 with one upper double and four lower singles. Quite luxurious actually, and bug proof.

 

Over 30 km of mellow forest trail join the lakes and rivers in a network for the visitors of Kejimkujik National Park.

The only problem is it’s impossible to feel OK about moving back to a tent after a night oTENTiking. They even provide a charcoal Weber BBQ. Everyone else in the campground is jealous for sure, and we can’t go back to setting up a tent. So thanks for that, Parks Canada.

 

Thank you to the creators of the oTENTik shelters and thanks to Parks Canada for bringing them here.

 

Tenacious tree.

We never made it to the Adjunct this round. It’s 22 acres of sweeping oceanside trails, and another experience entirely, but sandy beaches, double-wide trails, lakes that feel like Muskoka, and extensive riverways are Keji’s strengths.

 

Leo Harris splashing his way with the evening sun.

 

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