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Atlantic Coast Plain


A rugged yet gentle land of boulder-strewn barrens, tranquil forests, softly flowing rivers and shallow rock-studded lakes, framed by a rock-girded sea caost of world-renowned beauty.

Mersey River, Kejimkujik National Park
Mersey River,
Kejimkujik National Park


From the coast, the land gradually rises to a height of about 200 metres in a series of irregular waves of folded metamorphic rock. The Ice Age has left its footprints on much of the region, scraping away the fertility of the land and depositing it in the sea where today it nurtures rich fisheries.

Kejimkujik National Park
Kejimkujik National Park

Coarse, stony, shallow soils, exposed bedrock polished and grooved by the crawling glaciers, and erratics strewn about like glacier-scats are the legacy left by the Ice Age. Rivers and streams and thousands of shallow, rocky lakes are found throughout the region.


Along a band of coastline 3-30 kilometres wide are dense, stunted forests of balsam fir, black spruce and white spruce. The growth of trees along the coast is slow because of the marginal soil, harsh climate and salt spray. White spruce, which are salt-tolerant, dominate along the most exposed areas. Large areas of bare rock, bogs and barre-nlands have resulted from repeated fires. Isolated stands of old-growth hemlock forest are found throughout the region. Inland, mixed wood forests of red spruce, white pine, red oak and red maple are typical on well-drained sites. Although the combination of soil and climate is more conducive to growing trees here than it is along the coast, large barren areas and areas covered by low shrubs are still found. Fire and wind strongly influence the appearance of the vegetation in this region.

National Parks System Plan, 3rd Edition

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