Kejimkujik National Park and Historic Site, Nova Scotia

Unique to the Canadian national parks system, Kejimkujik National Park and Historic Site [3005 Kejimkujik Main Parkway, Maitland Bridge, NS B0T 1B0, Canada] is treasured for its environmental and cultural significance. You can find moose, deer, and bear here throughout the old growth forest – but one real exciting creature is the endangered blandings turtle, characterized by its yellow neck. The park is a designated dark sky preserve, perfect for star gazing – consider camping here. The first nations Mi’kmaq inhabited this area and used its waterways to travel between the Bay of Fundy to the Atlantic Coast. They left petroglyphs along their routes and free guided tours are available on this topic. Another interesting and free tour available is the bone broth and birch bark – showing how to survive in the woods where you get to sip on your own bone broth. Begin your experience at the Visitor’s Center where you can grab a map and use the restroom. There are 15 hiking trails in the park, the longest is the 35 mile Liberty Lake Trail. From the visitor center parking lot alone there are three trails.

+Beech Grove

Out of the back door of the center you can access a 1.4 mile loop begins. Cross the Mersey River over a floating bridge and you are on your way. In the sunshine, strands of aquatic plants glow like fire under the current of the river.

Make your way through an old growth forest with some rolling hills. The highlight of this hike is Mills Falls itself, flowing heavy.

From this side of the river you can walk out on the rocks and get a closer look.

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I chose this over the Mills Falls Trail proper because both see the waterfall, but this hike is longer and delves into a different habitat.

+Mersey Meadow

Departing from the same lot, this trail is not well signed so you have to be looking for it. The short accessible loop under a quarter of a mile long begins in the far corner of the lot behind some picnic tables.

It has display panels about the wildlife native to the area.

+Grafton Woods

Farther down the road this quiet trail has two loops totaling to two miles. In the quiet forest of gnarled beeches gives way to a boardwalk over a wetland.

Take a herd path out to Grafton Lake where it looks like beavers have been busy.

+Whynot Adventure Kayak Rental

Experience the nature and the culture of the park, get out on the water and paddle! There is a rental service within the park with very reasonable rental rates, lines can queue up though so try to get there early.

Paddle through Kejimkujik Lake which is filled with little islands and drumlins, oval hills formed by glaciers.

Water lilies are a pleasantly common sight.

With a keen eye, spy plover on the shoreline.

The water was glassy and the reflection heavenly. If you want to enjoy the water in a different way, there are swimming beaches for the summer season.

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