Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site of Canada
Hiking is one of the most popular activities at Kejimkujik. The trails at the main park and at Kejimkujik Seaside lead one through an incredible variety of habitats and scenery, to places of cultural and historical significance. Trails are of varying lengths so that everyone can have the opportunity to explore. Ensure dogs are kept leashed, to avoid confrontations with wildlife.
Maps of Kejimkuik Inland and Kejimkujik Seaside
1. Mersey Meadow
0.2 km loop
A charming, short loop suitable for families to explore this little wetland by the river. There are eight interpretive signs which tell you about some of the predators who live here. A raised platform provides a viewing scope to look for beavers and ducks.
Mill Falls trail © Parks Canada/D. Wilson
2. Mill Falls
2 km return
Start at the back door of the Visitor Centre and walk downstream along the bank of the Mersey River. Observe the sheer power of Mill Falls in the spring from the viewing area by the picnic shelter or stop in the summer for a cool spot to picnic. Continue to the end of the trail to enjoy the quieter places in the river.
3. Beech Grove
2.2 km loop
This trail starts with a floating bridge across the Mersey River and makes a wide circle up and over a drumlin hill. Drumlins are steep on one side and gently sloping on the other. The top of this drumlin is clothed in beeches, bright green and full of warblers in the spring, soft brown and loaded with beechnuts in the fall.
4. Flowing Waters
1 km loop
Follow the lazy Mersey River and stop to rest where it meets gnarled tree roots. Cross the bog on the boardwalk, returning to the rippling river and then on to an old sweet-fern lined logging road.
5. Hemlocks and Hardwoods
5 km loop
Among Nova Scotia’s oldest trees are the 300-year old hemlocks featured on this trail. As you move into the stand of tall, stately conifers, notice how different it feels under the thick-leafed canopy: cool and dark and moist. A hemlock boardwalk will take you over the very sensitive roots of these giants.
Please note: Hemlocks and Hardwoods is closed for maintenance until further notice.
1.1 km loop
Travel back into Keji's past with a walk to an old drumlin farm. Drumlins, eliptical hills, were formed many thousands of years ago during glacial periods. In the 19th Century they attracted settlers who built their farms on the top. Walk through the forest in the trail of ancient glaciers and search for evidence of the old farm.
7. Rogers Brook
1 km loop
The trail may be short, but there’s so much to see as you explore the Rogers Brook trail. You will cross Rogers Brook and follow the Mersey River along a red maple floodplain. Vibrant in autumn, the floodplain is teeming with life all year. Watch for turtles and amphibians and nesting waterfowl.
8. Grafton Woods
Two 1.6 km loops
Gnarled beeches provide colour in all seasons on this gentle trail. In the early spring last year’s pale leaves catch the sun and rustle in the breeze. Soon they give way to spring green, and then darken to provide pleasant summer shade. Look carefully and you can spot an ancient hemlock amongst them. In some places Grafton Lake can be glimpsed through the trees. A short boardwalk lets you cross the wetland where bog plants grow and small birds forage.
Take a few minutes to stroll across the brook and stand where the lakeshore used to be. Once, there was a dam on Grafton Brook to allow for a fish hatchery. When the dam was removed and the lake shrank to its old shores, the forest began to march back in, reclaiming the space. Interpretive panels here help to explain what you are seeing.
9. Snake Lake
3 km return
Variety is the name of the game at Snake Lake. You can walk this figure eight trail a different way each time, and hardwoods, softwoods, wetlands and the lakeshore are each home to different birds and animals.
10. Gold Mines
3 km return
The signs and exhibits on this trail tell the story of gold mining long before there was a park here. Relics demonstrate where and how the gold was mined, and local miners’ stories bring it all to life. The promise of gold is in the air!
11. Peter Point
3 km return
This is a multi-use trail so watch for bikers. Birds love this area for its variety of habitats: red and sugar maple and hemlock. People love this area for its secluded sandy point. As the trail opens onto the lake, close your eyes and imagine the cottage that once stood there.
12. Mersey River
3.5 km one way
This is a multi-use trail so watch for bikers. Follow the river’s edge to see the Mersey in all its different moods. From the trail’s parking and picnic area, head along the river, up into the darker woods, and back to quiet, still Mersey pools. Listen to the swish of the lush grasses as you pass through. The trail forks as you near the campground; you can continue around Slapfoot trail (13) or walk your bike over the floating bridge and the canoeists at Jakes Landing and continue to Merrymakedge Beach (14).
3.2 km one way
This is a busy multi-use trail so watch for bikers. You can start from Meadow Beach, various points in Jeremys Bay campground, or Jim Charles Point. Join the Mersey trail (12) or the trail to Merrymakedge (14). The views of the lakeshore change with the season and the weather. Every turn brings something new.
14. Jakes Landing to Merrymakedge Beach
3 km one way
This is a multi-use trail so watch for bikers. The trail begins at the far end of the Jakes Landing parking lot, and climbs steeply through scattered granite boulders. This is a good place to watch for pileated woodpeckers. Enveloped in trees, you will pass by the viewing tower exhibit and continue to Merrymakedge playground. From here the trail follows the lakeshore, flat and easy, to the canteen and the beach at Merrymakedge.
Harbour Rocks trail at the Seaside
5.2 km return to the parking lot
This trail passes through dense coastal forest, beside bogs rich with orchids, over coastal barrens, and then to the sandy beach and rocky islands at Harbour Rocks. Along the trail, a viewing platform provides a spectacular view of St. Catherines River Beach. In the thick growth of shrubs at the trail’s edge you may see birds such as the common yellow-throat, savannah sparrow, and palm warbler feeding on insects or berries. At the shore, a viewing scope provides a close-up look at offshore seals and seabirds like gannets and eiders.
This route then follows the headlands and small sheltered coves to St. Catherines River Beach. Park staff protect the piping plover by closing the beach to public access during the nesting season.
Port Joli Head trail © Parks Canada
Port Joli Head trail at the Seaside
8.7 kilometres return to the parking lot
This trail branches from the Harbour Rocks Trail, and crosses an extensive bog to a viewing platform overlooking Boyds Cove. The trail skirts clumps of coastal forest, which provide shelter for white-tailed deer and forest birds, and then follows the coast to Port Joli Head. Here is the full force of the ocean. Crashing surf announces the energy of the waves, the wind whips salty spray into the air, cobbles clatter as the waves recede, cries of gulls and eiders drift ashore, and the smell of seaweed is heavy in the air. Large boulders left behind by the glaciers sit perched on the rocky headlands, now encrusted with orange coastal lichens. When you explore these headlands be careful to keep your distance from the water’s edge, since rogue waves can wash across them. From Port Joli Head, the trail loops along the shoreline to Harbour Rocks.
Self-guided trails are a great way for you to learn about Kejimkujik and the natural world within it. Interpretative panels give you information as you move along, so you can walk these trails when it’s convenient for you, at your own pace. Self-guided trails are a way for you to experience some interpretation here at Kejimkujik, even if there are no interpretation programs offered during your visit. Self-guided trails include Mersey Meadow (1), Hemlocks and Hardwoods (5), Grafton Lake (9), Gold Mines (12), Slapfoot (14) and the two trails at Kejimkujik Seaside. For a self-guided experience with a hand held GPS device that provides you with location specific information, try Explora on the Mill Falls (2) and Beech Grove (3) trails.