Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site of Canada

Visitor Safety

Staying Safe in the Outdoors

Take the time to learn about possible hazards that could affect your visit.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia, or a decline in core body temperature, is a serious safety concern. Hypothermia is caused by exposure to cold (rain, wind, snow) and physical exhaustion. Dehydration and eating too little food can also be factors.

  • Bring extra clothing. Replace wet clothes with dry ones before you get chilled.
  • Dress in layers; adjust as you go to prevent overcooling or overheating.
  • Wear clothing that retains its insulating properties when wet (e.g. polypropylene, fleece, wool, gore-tex). Do not wear cotton, e.g. jeans.
  • Be alert to the first signs of hypothermia: shivering, difficulty using your hands, disorientation, and a drop in body temperature.
  • Drink plenty of water and snack throughout the day.

Learn more about hypothermia.

Dehydration

Lack of water is a major contributor to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

  • Drink water regularly. Take scheduled water breaks, even in cool weather.
  • In hot weather, avoid hiking during the middle of the day.
  • Wear light coloured, loose clothing and a wide brimmed hat.
  • Eat nutritious and high calorie food.
  • Be alert to the symptoms of heat exhaustion: pale skin, sweating, thirst, nausea, dizziness, headaches, and muscle cramps.

Learn more about heat stroke.

Wildlife

Black Bear © Parks Canada/P. Hope

You will not be alone in the wilderness. The chance to observe wild animals as they go about their natural lives is one of the most fascinating experiences that Canada’s national parks have to offer. Along with this opportunity, however, comes the responsibility to treat wild animals with the respect they deserve, and need.

  • All the wild animals you encounter in Kejimkujik are potentially dangerous if cornered, approached too closely, or harassed.This is especially important at Kejimkujik Seaside, where seals may come close to shore.
  • Do not feed any wildlife, and take care that your food and garbage are secured so as not to attract animals to your campsite.
  • Keep pets on a leash at all times.
  • Drive slowly.
  • Black bears and coyotes are present at the inland and coastal portions of Kejimkujik. Read You are in Bear Country and Coyotes and Hiking Safety or get the information at the Visitor Centre.

This publication provides important information about traveling and camping in bear country.

Insects and Ticks

During the spring and summer you need to be prepared for biting insects such as blackflies and mosquitoes. Cover up or wear specially designed bug jackets. Use insect repellent. Learn more about West Nile Virus.

American Dog Tick © Parks Canada

Nova Scotia is home to a variety of ticks, which are most active in areas of long grass or shrubbery. May-June is the period when ticks are most common, but the season can be prolonged by cool, damp weather. Read Ticks and Your Health for precautions and treatment for tick bites and for information on Blacklegged Ticks and Lyme Disease.


Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy © Parks Canada/J. Brownlie

There are areas in Kejimkujik where you will find poison ivy, a climbing plant of the sumac family. It grows on sandy, stony, or rocky shores, sprouts in thickets, in clearings, and along the borders of woods. The sap of the plant contains an oily resin that causes an irritating inflammation of the skin in most people. The inflamed areas frequently develop blisters, which are accompanied by intense itchiness. Areas of the skin that are suspected of contamination should be carefully washed with soap and COLD water to prevent the infection from spreading. If a reaction does develop, you should seek the advice of a physician. Skin irritation (itching, red inflammation, blistering of the skin and, in severe cases, oozing sores) resulting from exposure to poison ivy normally disappears in a week to 10 days. Learn more about poison ivy.

Drinking Water

Tap water in Kejimkujik is tested regularly. However, if you are heading out to hike or paddle for the day, or planning a trip in the backcountry, you should carry water with you, or be prepared to purify any water which you take out of lakes, streams, or springs in Kejimkujik. Learn more about drinking water safety.

Weather

Rain on White Pine © Parks Canada/J. Brownlie

Some factors will be ever changing, and you will want to talk to Kejimkujik staff for up-to-date information on weather and its effects on fire hazard, trail conditions, and canoeing conditions. We can also inform you of any recent animal sightings that you should be aware of. You can contact the Visitor Centre staff at (902) 682-2772. View the Kejimkujik weather forecast.

Telephones in Kejimkujik

A cellular phone can be valuable for emergency use in Kejimkujik; however, you should never rely on using one. Cellular service in Keji will vary depending on your phone, your service provider, and your location. Pay phones are available at the Visitor Centre, throughout the campground, at Jake’s Landing and the Merrymakedge Beach Area.

Important Numbers

Police, Fire, Ambulance
(emergency only) 911

Patrol/Security
(902) 298-0668

Wildlife incidents/Wildfires
1-800-565-2224

Annapolis Community Health Centre, Annapolis Royal, NS
(902) 532-2381

Queens General Hospital, Liverpool, NS
(902) 354-3436

South Shore Regional Hospital, Bridgewater, NS
(902) 543-3603