After a few years of being unable to make our annual Victoria Day weekend canoe trip into the Kejimkujik National Park backcountry, we were back on the water this year. The national parks have instituted a more “fair” lottery system for reservations and as in every other lottery, I’ve been pretty unlucky with the results. This year I was 2306th in line so I wasn’t holding out much hope of getting what I was hoping for. Turns out I was right and had to settle for a two night stay on a site further down my wishlist, site 6. It wasn’t my first choice but it turned out to be a pretty good one.
Desperate for a relatively local hiking challenge this year, I decided to finally hike the Liberty Lake Loop, a 56km trail in Kejimkujik National Park. I’ve had my eye on the loop for almost 10 years but just never took the plunge to make the reservations and take the time off work. Without a trip to some far-flung destination this year, it was time to tackle it.
After taking last year off from our (mostly) annual tradition, three friends and I jumped back into a couple of canoes and headed into the backcountry of Kejimkujik National Park for the Victoria Day long weekend. This time we were headed for Site 22, the last site on the West River. The weather was sunny and warm, the winds light. Perfect conditions, except for the flies which seemed to have exploded into life. Nothing a good bug net over you hat and some spray can’t solve.
As I had a couple of extra days off for this year’s Labour Day long weekend I decided at almost the last moment to spend a few days in one of my favourite places: Kejimkujik National Park. One of the few remaining parts of the park I hadn’t hiked or paddled through was the Channel Lake Loop, an almost 27-kilometre loop in the middle of the park.
It’s been about three years or so since the Wil-Bo-Wil cabin was built in Kejimkujik’s backcountry, and even though I’ve passed it many times on hikes destined for elsewhere in the park I’ve never actually stayed there. I decided to remedy that situation by booking it for a couple of nights and doing a little luxurious late summer camping in one of my favourite places.
After being cooped up indoors for a couple of consecutive weekends I decided it was time to get back outside for a good, long hike. I recruited a friend to join me and decided to book a couple of nights in the backcountry of Kejimkujik National Park , one of my favourite places to visit in the province. The weather forecast was as good as it gets in these parts for October: temperatures in the mid-teens and no sign of rain or wind. I called up the park to see what was still available for backcountry campsites and found the place almost completely booked up. No surprise there. I managed to get site 39 at Poison Ivy Falls for Saturday night and — score! — the yurt at site 28 for Sunday night. This was going to be good.
For the third year in a row, a few friends and I headed into the backcountry of Kejimkujik National Park for a few days of
relaxing and exploring. This year we reserved site 32, a beautiful spot on Île de l’Original on Peskowesk Lake. Compared to last year, the weather was spectacular. It’s rare in Nova Scotia to get four straight days of heat and sun in May, but that’s exactly what we got. Site 32 has a beautiful, west-facing white sandy
beach, so you get afternoon and evening sun, as well as a breeze that keeps the bugs away.
After finding out there were two yurts in the backcountry at Kejimkujik National Park available for winter camping, I couldn’t help but want to get into one for a couple of nights. Winter camping can be a good time if you’re prepared, it can be even better when you have a ready-made shelter and wood stove ready for you when you arrive. A few stories in the local media made these two yurts a hot commodity so they weren’t easy to reserve on or near the weekends. I had some spare time come up unexpectedly so I decided to book a couple of nights in the middle of the week when they were open and I could convice a friend to come along with me.
Hike Nova Scotia Hiking and Snowshoeing Summit 2012
On I attended the first ever Hike Nova Scotia Hiking and Snowshoeing Summit. I’ve been a member of Hike Nova Scotia for a couple of years now and thought it’d be fun to attend and meet others who share my love of hiking and just generally like to be outside. On top of that, the summit was held at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, one of my favourite parks in the province.
For the second year in a row, a couple of friends and I canoed into Kejimkujik National Park to spend four days in the wilderness of the park. It was a little more special this year as Parks Canada is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Congratulations! So on a chilly Friday we set out in our canoes toward backcountry site 26, on a small peninsula between Mountain and Cobrielle Lakes. It’s a great spot, we had a pair of loons to keep us company, but that was about it. We only saw a couple of other people the whole four days.
This winter has been decent weather-wise in Nova Scotia. It has snowed fairly regularly and has remained cold enough for it to stay. All this means an opportunity to get outside. This year is the first year Kejimkujik National Park has had a trail grooming program for their cross-country ski trails. If my trip there was any indication, it was a fantastic idea. Since this is the first year, it looks like not too many people know about it. There were only a few other people on this trail during this visit. The weather was perfect, clear blue skies, not a breath of wind and a temperature around freezing. It doesn’t get any better than that if you like to be outside in the winter.