Kejimkujik National Park was established in 1967 and covers 381 sq kms in the western interior of Nova Scotia. The park is an inland wilderness with forest streams, lakes and islands. The wildlife and flora are abundant due to the high rainfall in the area, often flooding the streams and lakes in the spring.

Glaciers once occupied this area. As they retreated they left behind huge granite boulders, shallow soil, and craters where the lakes have formed today.

The park makes a wonderful home to beaver (the Canadian National Animal).They build their lodges on the side of the deep waterways. Muskrats live in holes in the riverbank and Otters and Mink are close by, but rarely seen. Other animals regularly seen in the park are Moose, white-tailed deer, hare, black bear, bobcat, fox and porcupine.

There are two species of flying squirrels and dozens of mouse, mole and shrew species that are seldom seen. The coyote is a recent arrival, first being seen in the park in 1994. There are increasing numbers of Raccoons that have become a menace to the campgrounds. Turtles nest on the nearby beaches.

There are numerous plants in the Park including 23 species of ferns,15 orchids, approximately 37 aquatic and 90 woody plants. Due to the high rainfall, the forests, bogs and meadows are rich in plant life.

In Spring, due to fires and logging, old Bogs are covered with rhodora, bog rosemary, pale laurel and cranberry. About 1/5th of the forest is mixed stands of softwood and hardwood – results of disturbances from fires and logging. This opened up old growth stands, giving white birch and balsam fir a foot hold. Mixed woods host numerous wildflower species. Softwood forests are found in the high, drier areas that make up 20% of the park. On the forest floor, ground cover consists of bracken ferns, blueberry, sheep’s laurel and bunchberry.

The earliest inhabitants of the park were Maritime Archaic Indians moving through the area about 4,500 years ago. These nomadic, woodland Indians traveled the inland waterways between the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic coast, using seasonal campsites along the shores of Kejimkujik’s rivers and lakes.

The Park was a natural resource for their descendants, the Micmac, who lived in the area for more than 2,000 years, hunting, fishing and camping along the canoe routes. The Micmac almost disappeared when the Europeans arrived around the 1820’s.

Petroglyphs, images inscribed in soft slate, depict the dress, family life and hunting and fishing activities of the Micmac culture in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were followed by trappers, loggers and prospectors who utilized the area before the modern day conservationists, who now work to preserve the park and it natural beauty for future generations.

The European settlers cultivated the richer soils and farmed nearly half the land in the Park. All the parklands were logged at one time. The lakes and rivers provided access to the coastal sawmills. Pits, iron boilers and miners’ cabins now mark where three small gold mines were located in the Park.

On 22 sq kms of the Port Mouton Peninsula, about 25 kms southwest of Liverpool and 100 kms south of the Kejimkujik inland Park, is the Kejimkujik Seaside Adjunct. This Adjunct is a rocky piece of land along the coast where birds, reptiles and amphibians are abundant. Harbor Seals bask offshore and on the rocks along the coast.

The Adjunct was added to the Inland Park in 1988, and represents the least disturbed shoreline, coastal elements of the south coast on Nova Scotia. It features ponds, tidal flats, salt lagoons, secluded coves, salt marsh and two spectacular white sandy beaches. Dense scrub and laurel dominate the coastal tundra-like vegetation.

The inland terrain of the Adjunct is rugged with spruce and fir, granite boulders and exposed bedrock carved by glaciation. Boardwalks have been built over the marshy areas.

There are approximately 205 bird species including the barred owl, about 20 species of woodland warblers, 6 species of woodpecker, including the huge pleated woodpecker and the rare black-backed woodpecker.

About ten pairs of piping plovers, considered endangered species since1985, nest within a fenced off area on the beaches between late April and early August. Just one of the many protected species that make up the wealth of birdlife. The fencing protects them, somewhat successfully, from raccoons, foxes and other predators that steal their exposed eggs.
Kejimkujik is the most important National Park for reptiles in Atlantic Canada. Five snakes, three turtles, five salamanders, one toad and seven frog species inhabit the Park. Warm summers and moderate winters account for the abundance and diversity of these species. The Blanding’s turtle was discovered in the park in 1953 and by 1993 it was declared a threatened species in Nova Scotia.

The Parks’ ongoing research, monitoring, conservation and protection efforts are part of the program to safeguard rare species once widespread in eastern Canada, but now restricted to this area.

Both the Kejimkujik Inland Park and the Kejimkujik Seaside Adjunct are great destinations for Tourists. Both offer an abundance of wildlife and flora, along with interpretive centers, canoeing, cycling, picnic areas and campsites.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Avril Betts, I have over 25 years experience in all aspects of Travel and Tourism. I hold a CHA (Certified Hotel Administrator). Along with my partner Khaled Azzam we own A-Z Tours and Action Travel in North America along with Travelocity Travel Egypt in Cairo, Egypt.

I have co-chaired Atlantic Canada Showcase an International Travel Trade Show, managed 450 volunteers for the Tall Ships Visit in July 2000, and was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia. In 1996 I hosted the president’s wives luncheon for the G7 conference. In 1988 I founded the Country Inn Association in Nova Scotia.

As an experienced speaker I have presented seminars for many years on subjects ranging from Marketing and Sales and Life Skills to Tourism, Travel and Real Estate, and operating an online Travel business.

I enjoy working with tourists to pass on my knowledge to help our clients make the most of their vacations. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or travel inquiries.

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