Kejimkujik National Park (pronounced Kej-ee-mah-coo-jick) is a stunning park in South-Western Nova Scotia on the east coast of Canada. It’s a large park in comparison to the total size of the province (404 km2 to 55283 km2). This park is awesome for paddling, camping and hiking. Tourists can also learn about Mi’kmaq First Nations history (10,000 years strong in that area). Although both Erin and Jackson grew up within a day’s drive of the park, neither had ever visited until this summer. Jackson’s mother Merredith orchestrated a trip for Jackson’s little brother Chris and his girlfriend Courtney, Erin and Jackson, and herself and Jackson’s dad Richard.
Getting the Ma-Ha-Brew-Crewe together (a combination of everyone’s last names that is very catchy). Visiting each other at home is nice, casual, and convenient in a lot of ways but going out into nature for a trip is a very cool memory to harvest. Plus, Nova Scotia has so much beauty to explore.
The stretches of canoeing were all across lakes, so it was a ‘move-at-your-own-pace’ kind of scenario (no white water on our path). This meant for a leisurely day, even if long. The portaging was another story. The highlight of each day would be when the portaging was done!
Fooling around out in the water really broke up the long paddles. Plus, we all confirmed what we had always suspected – Jackson’s mom can walk on water! And his brother Chris is, indeed, king of the land!
Setting up camp in these truly beautiful sites at the end of a long day consistently felt satisfying. We hung our food up in the trees to avoid attracting bears each night.
Fishing is allowed in several of the lakes within the park (check ahead of time), so fishing became a great pass-time to break up the day, with some success.
Campfires and camp cooking was fun through and through. The flavour of delicious food is only amplified after a day’s work and when made over a fire.
Tips for visiting Keji:
- During high season book your canoe and kayak rentals at Jake’s Landing, as well as your campsites, in advance
- Rent wheels for your canoe if you will be portaging a lot (through Jake’s Landing)
- Pack light even if you rent wheels for portaging. You will thank yourself! For example, pack cans of beer instead of bottles so as you drink them, your load is significantly lightened
- Come prepared for swimming and for rain
- Pack your food and supplies in a smart way – the things you need on the last day on the bottom, the things you will need the first day on top
- Bring: sufficient fuel for cooking, rain tarps for tents, sunblock, water filter system, sunglasses and hat
- Plan your route so you know how long your days will be
- There are lots of leeches so find a good entry point or jump in out in the middle of a lake. It’s great swimming and in the deep water you won’t find these little suckers. Best swim of the year!
Preparing food for camping:
Plan your meals ahead of time so you have enough and don’t have so much that you’ll be lugging supplies you don’t need. Label things with the meal they are meant for. Prepare some things ahead of time where appropriate – like rice for the first night or pre-chopped vegetables. Plan for hearty breakfasts like the oatmeal shown below. Pack snack bags for everyone so throughout the day, people can fuel themselves as they need without having to get off the water. Vegetarian meals tend to work better when out of the fridge for a few days, so consider meals like black bean chilli, Thai curry with cauliflower, broccoli, peas, chick peas, etc. If you’d like, you can dehydrate ahead of time too.