Canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP)

Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site

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.

No bridge at Jakes Landing

Please note: The Jakes Landing floating bridge will not be in place for the 2023 season.

There is no trail connection between Jeremy’s Bay Campground and Jakes Landing to Merrymakedge and beyond.

More information

Temporary closures and continued full fire ban

All trails are closed until further notice to reduce the risk of wildfires. Updates will be provided as information changes.

The backcountry at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site is closed until further notice, effective immediately. Backcountry reservations up to and including Monday, June 5, will automatically be cancelled and fully refunded. No action is required by reservation holders.

A full fire ban continues for Jeremy’s Bay Campground and all front-country areas of the park. No open fires are permitted, including charcoal BBQs. The fire ban will be in effect until further notice.

More information

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.

Equipment rentals

Equipment rentals are available from Whynot Adventure, the Keji Outfitters. Reservations 24 hours in advance are recommended. 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.

Paddling safety

Be prepared

NEW Navigation buoys will no longer be on Kejimkujik Lake. Visitors must come prepared to navigate to their campsite via map and compass and GPS.

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.

Plan your outing: 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.

Dress for all weather. Ensure you have hats, sunscreen, and clothing for changing conditions.

"Get informed and go outdoors" with the AdventureSmart program.

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.

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