Monday, August 23, 2010

EP Road Trip #2: Kejimkujik National Park

One of my sub goals during all of my proposed travelling/living around this country is to visit every single National Park, Marine Conservation Area, and National Park Reserve in Canada. Over the past weekend I made yet another trip with my church's young adults group, this time to camp for two nights in Kejimkujik National Park. One Park down, 44 more to go.

The National Park system in Canada is a Federal initiative to protect and present outstanding representative examples of natural landscapes and natural phenomena that occur in the 39 natural regions of Canada. Kejimkujik National Park is the only inland National Park in Atlantic Canada, but it is rich in historical significance. The large lake in the centre of the Park served as an ancient "inland port" and safe haven, during the colder fall and winter months, to the Mikmaw (Mikmaq) people that lived here and would travel the complex network of rivers and lakes to arrive from their summer camps along the Atlantic coast.

Even today, visitors to the area still enjoy canoeing those same routes that Canada's original people paddled, as well as mountain biking, camping, and going on guided history walks to ancient historically significant areas. I was not able to see the famous Mikmaw stone carvings called Petroglyphs during this trip, due to time constraints, but I will return on a future trip to explore the park more thoroughly.

(Keji Beach at the peaceful, and surprisingly warm, Lake Kejimkujik.)

(The "Mighty" Mersey meandering its way through the old growth hemlock forests of Kejimkujik.)

(A family enjoys itself at the popular Mill Falls - once the location of a portable steam mill run by Morris Zwicker in the early 1900s.)

(A cable and cart system used to measure water depths at the centre of the river.)

(I set out on Saturday to find the Visitor Information Centre, which I thought was only 3 km away from my camp site. It turned out to be 7 km away. On the way back I took an even longer route through the trees to stay out of the blazing hot sun. It wasn't a complete disaster though, as I was able to get this beautiful shot - in my opinion the best hiking trail picture I've ever taken. Total hiking distance for the day ~ 20 km.)

(Some of my fellow church campers were nervous about the wildlife, but compared to Jasper National Park, in which you are almost guaranteed to see at least one ungulate and/or predator each time you visit, Kejimkujik National Park is about as wild as South Korea. This was the most vicious animal I could find.)

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