Paddling is for everyone - even for those with little or no experience. Kejimkujik offers some of the best paddling in Atlantic Canada. Canoe, kayak, or paddleboard waters travelled by the Mi’kmaq for thousands of years. Bring your own equipment or rent a canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard (plus safety equipment) online from Whynot Adventure, The Keji Outfitters at Jake’s Landing.

Whynot Adventure

Equipment rentals

Book a canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard rental online from Whynot Adventure, the Keji Outfitters. Reservations must be made online in advance. Pick up your rental at Jake’s Landing.

Self-guided day trips

From Jake's Landing (1-2 hours)
  • The trip up river is excellent for families and those with little experience.
  • 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.
  • Down river leads to Kejimkujik Lake and its many islands, where you can spend hours watching water birds or exploring coves.
From lower Mersey River at the Eel Weir Bridge (2-4 hours)
  • 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 and loons diving for fish, 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.
From Big Dam Lake (2-3 hours)
  • 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.
From Mersey River at the Visitor Centre (90 minutes)
  • 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 or muskrat among the lushly vegetated islands.

Wilderness canoeing

Guided activities

Please note: all guided activities are cancelled this season, including Mersey Stillwater Paddle and Pulling Water – Big Canoe Paddle. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 information page.

group with guide in big canoe
Mersey Stillwater Paddle – Discover Kejimkujik in Voyageur style!

Experience the simplicity and tranquility of travelling by canoe. Climb aboard our Voyageur Canoe for a tour with two skilled Parks Canada guides.

Slow down to the rhythm of this land as you dip your paddle into the still waters of the Mersey River and get the inside scoop on all things Kejimkujik! Your personal guides are windows into Kejimkujik's nature and culture and will share humorous stories as they serve you a delicious treat and refreshing Mersey Tea.

Details

Availability: July and August.

Dates: TBD

Fee: $14.70 per person plus entry fee. Paddles and personal floatation devices provided.

Ages: Ages 8 and up. Visitors 16 years old and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Group size: Maximum 8 paddlers.

Duration: 90 minute program.

Location: Paddlers depart from, and return to, the Visitor Centre.

Notes:

  • This program is offered rain or shine. However, for safety reasons, the program will be cancelled in severe weather or if the minimum number of paddlers is not reached. If cancellation occurs, visitors will be fully refunded.
  • No pets allowed on paddling excursion.

Reservations: Contact us

Cancellations: Fully refundable if cancelled 48 hours before the paddle departure time, or if cancelled by Parks Canada staff due to weather or low numbers.

group with guide in big canoe
Pulling Water – Big Canoe Paddle

Paddle a giant 38-foot Mi’kmaw-style canoe into the sunset. The Pulling Water experience merges an active paddling adventure with intriguing morsels of cultural and natural history.

With skilled and talented guides at the helm, you’ll paddle in amongst the islands that dot Kejimkujik Lake, pulling the same waters as the Mi’kmaq and early settlers.

Details

Availability: July and August.

Dates: TBD

Fee: $4.90 per person plus entry fee. Paddles and personal floatation devices provided.

Ages: Ages 8 and up. Visitors 16 years old and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Group size: Maximum 18 paddlers.

Duration: 2 hour program.

Location: Paddlers depart from, and return to, the Visitor Centre.

Notes:

  • This program is offered rain or shine. However, for safety reasons, the program will be cancelled in severe weather or if the minimum number of paddlers is not reached. If cancellation occurs, visitors will be fully refunded.
  • No pets allowed on paddle.

Reservations: Contact us

Cancellations: Fully refundable if cancelled 48 hours before the paddle departure time, or if cancelled by Parks Canada staff due to weather or low numbers.

Paddling safety

  • Plan your outing: get a map of the buoys on Kejimkujik Lake, check the updated weather forecast, and talk to staff at the entrance kiosk or at Jake's Landing about paddling conditions.
  • Each person must have a properly fitting personal flotation device.
  • Each canoe or kayak 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 paddling 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.
  • Map of navigation buoys in Kejimkujik Lake

    Navigation buoys in Kejimkujik Lake

    This downloadable map (PDF 935 KB) shows the navigation buoys in Kejimkujik Lake: red buoy, green buoy, yellow and black cardinal buoy, and orange buoy.

    The map also shows:

    • Kejimkujik Lake and George Lake
    • Mersey River and West River
    • Jake's Landing and Jim Charles Point
    • Meadow Beach and Merrymakedge Beach
    • Jeremys Bay and Minards Bay
    • Big Muise Island, Dukeshire Island, Richie Island, Ell Island, Moose Island, and Peale Island
     

    Help keep Kejimkujik wild and beautiful

  • For the welfare of all wildlife, always observe them from a distance. Leave nature undisturbed for others to enjoy.
  • Pack-out everything you pack-in. Learn more about the Leave No Trace Canada program.
  • Use only designated picnic sites – open fires are not permitted in these locations.
  • Backcountry campsites are for registered campers only – please respect campers’ privacy.