Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site of Canada
Canoeing and Kayaking
© Parks Canada/D. Wilson
Kejimkujik offers some of the best paddling in Atlantic Canada. Canoe or kayak along the waterways where the Mi’kmaq paddled for thousands of years. Bring your own equipment or rent a canoe or kayak and safety equipment at Jakes Landing.
Help Keep Kejimkujik Wild and Beautiful
Suggested Day Trips
Plan your outing by making sure you have a map of the buoys on Kejimkujik Lake, and that you have checked the updated weather forecast and talked to staff at the Visitor Centre or at Jakes Landing about canoeing conditions.
Each person must have a properly fitting personal flotation device. Each canoe must be equipped with a bailer, a whistle, and a 15 m buoyant rope.
Wind and waves on Kejimkujik Lake are often strongest at mid-day. For your safety we suggest canoeing either early morning or late afternoon.
Foul weather and high winds may force you to stay put until conditions permit safe canoeing. Ensure your outing allows for extra time and provisions.
Dress for all weather. Ensure you have hats, sunscreen and clothing for changing conditions.
"Get informed and go outdoors" with the AdventureSmart program.
© Parks Canada/P. Hope
For the welfare of all wildlife, always observe them from a distance. Leave nature undisturbed for others to enjoy. Learn more about the Leave No Trace Canada
Pack out everything you pack in.
Use only designated picnic sites – open fires are not permitted in these locations.
Backcountry campsites are for registered campers only – please respect campers’ privacy.
From Jakes Landing
A one to two hour trip up the quiet Mersey River takes you beneath overhanging red maples and through the home of turtles. In small side streams, frogs and water lilies abound; watch them but leave them undisturbed. If you are quiet you might see an elegant great blue heron. An evening canoe outing may offer you a glimpse of beavers. This trip is excellent for families and those with little canoeing experience. Down river leads to Kejimkujik Lake and its islands, where you can spend hours watching water birds or exploring coves.
From lower Mersey River at the Eel Weir Bridge
A short (200-metre) portage takes you upstream to George Lake, a great place to explore among the islands (2 hours). Search the lake for ducks or loons diving for fish, perhaps, or deer feeding on the shoreline. This lake remains sheltered from most strong winds. If you canoe further northward, looping around Hemlock Island, you will see the expanse of Kejimkujik Lake. Turn into Minards Bay where the landscape changes to large granite boulders in a bay dotted by islands and ringed by a rugged shoreline. (3 to 4 hours)
From Big Dam Lake
A 400-metre portage from the Big Dam parking lot takes you to Big Dam Lake. The entire lakeshore is forested, with impressive pine and hemlock stands on the eastern side. The lake is divided into two halves; the clear spring-fed southeastern half allows you to gaze at water lilies rooted in the shallows. This part of the lake usually remains sheltered from strong winds. Paddle through the narrow passage and enter the northern expanse of this lake with its bog-fed dark-brown waters. (2 - 3 hours)
From Mersey River at the Visitor Centre
Launch your canoe from the little dock just behind the Visitor Centre and take a short, leisurely trip up the Mersey River. Explore this stillwater carefully, watching for signs of beaver, muskrat or great blue heron among the lushly vegetated islands. Red-winged blackbirds are common here in the summer. (1 1/2 hours)
Canoe and Kayak Rentals