Backcountry camping

Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site

Take a backcountry camping trip at Kejimkujik and experience the tranquil wilderness and ancestral home of the Mi’kmaq. Hike or paddle/portage to tent campsites, or hike to one of two rustic cabins. 

Partial fire ban in effect

A partial fire ban will be in effect throughout Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site (front and backcountry) beginning Thursday, May 16, until further notice.

⛔ No fires are permitted between 10 am and 7 pm. This also applies to charcoal BBQs (including the public ones at Merrymakedge Beach).

This fire ban includes ALL open fires, EXCEPT the following are allowed:

👍 portable gas-powered fire pits*
👍 gas-powered stoves and barbeques designed for cooking*
👍 gas-powered lanterns (enclosed flame)*
👍 fires in the woodstoves provided in the picnic shelters*

*provided they are under direct supervision and CSA-approved

Over 80% of Kejimkujik is accessible by canoe or hiking only. There are 46 backcountry camping sites spread out over 17 lakes and connected by multiple rivers and streams. Campsites, trails, and portages enable you to travel without disturbing the land.

Travel in the backcountry can be challenging. Obstacles could include tree deadfall, washed out paths or boardwalks, and unpassable rivers or brooks. Cell phone coverage is limited or not available. Plan ahead and be prepared.

Rent camping equipment or book a guided adventure with Whynot Adventures, The Keji Outfitters.

On this page

Dates

Backcountry camping is available from Victoria Day weekend (mid-May) to the end of October. Some limited spring camping is available from April to mid-May.

Camping is not permitted from November to April.

Reservations

Parks Canada Reservation Service: 1-877-RESERVE (737-3783) | Outside of North America: 519-826-5391

Cost: See prices

How to make a camping reservation

Reservation details

Maximum length of stay

Maximum consecutive stay per backcountry site: 2 nights

Maximum length of stay in the backcountry: 21 nights total

Maximum persons per site

Maximum people per site: 6*

*Except the following sites are maximum 10 people:

  • C (Big Dam Lake)
  • 7 (Frozen Ocean Lake)
  • 12 (Ritchie Island, Kejimkujik Lake) 

Maximum camping units per site

2 medium sized tents (4 person), or 4 small tents (2 person) per site (all must fit on tent pads).

For sites C, 7, and 12, 3 medium sized tents (4 person), or 6 small tents (2 person) per site (all must fit on tent pads).

Number of reservations

There is no limit on the number of reservations you can make for yourself or others, provided the fees are paid and complete booking information is provided for each.

Each reservation must be secured by a NON-REFUNDABLE reservation fee and complete payment of all camping fees.

Each reservation includes all sites reserved consecutively for ONE backcountry trip (21 night maximum).

Each site may be booked for a maximum of two consecutive nights.

Payments for all reservations must be made with a major credit card.

Changes and cancellations

If you cannot make your trip at the time you have reserved, you will be refunded all camping fees (less the reservation fee and a cancellation fee), as long as you notify the Parks Canada Reservation Service no less than three days preceding your reserved date of arrival.

If you wish to make a change or an addition to your reservation, you will be required to pay a modification fee.

Reservations not claimed on the scheduled date of arrival will be cancelled by noon of the following day.

If there is no vacancy for your dates

Kejimkujik does not have backcountry sites available on a first come first served basis. If there are no sites available for the dates selected, you can either select different dates or reserve a site in our front country campground.

Guided experiences

A variety of guided experiences are available at Kejimkujik with Whynot Adventure, The Keji Outfitters.

Visit Whynot Adventure, The Keji Outfitters to learn more and book a guided adventure.

Types of campsites

Tent campsites

Each site includes

  • two tent pads (12 ft x 12 ft)
  • picnic table
  • pit privy
  • fire pit
  • bear cables for hoisting food*

Most campsites have a fire box and firewood (with the exception of sites 17, 41, 42, and 43).

Wood supply may vary through the year and visitors should be prepared to cook on a camp stove.

*It is possible that the supplied bear cable is broken. We recommend that you come prepared.

All sites have some amount of shade.

Rustic cabins

There are two backcountry cabins:

  • Mason's (W1)
  • Wil-Bo-Wil (W2)

These rustic cabins are very basic so you must bring everything you would need at a normal backcountry site, other than your tents.

Travel to your campsite(s)

If your campsite is accessible by hiking

Wilderness hiking on the backcountry trails in Kejimkujik is difficult.

There are two backcountry trails: #13 Channel Lake, and #14 Liberty Lake.

#13 Channel Lake

Visitors using the Channel Lake trail should know that they must wade across Still Brook, which may be impassable during spring floods and other high-water conditions. Before starting this trip, ask Kejimkujik staff about the water levels.

#14 Liberty Lake

The Liberty Lake Loop is an extremely difficult trail to complete, even for experienced hikers.

The trail passes through some very boggy areas and alder groves which make the trail difficult to follow in sections. Additional obstacles could include tree deadfall, washed out paths or boardwalks, and unpassable rivers or brooks.

Cell phone coverage is limited or not available.

Hiking distances to campsites

Please note: If the site you want to hike to is not on the list below, it is not accessible by land.

    Big Dam — One Way Eel Weir — One Way
    Site # Km Hours Km Hours
    A 0.21 5 min 59.2 17
    B 0.42 10 min 59 17
    C 0.52 12 min 58.9 17
    D 0.64 15 min 58.4 16.5
    1 1.3 0.5 58.1 16.5
    3 3.2 1 56.2 16
    5 11.5 3.5 50.9 14.5
    6 13 4 51.2 14.5
    7 12.2 3.5 47.2 14
    17 5 1.5 59.2 17
    22 35.6 12 36.8 13
    25 63.7 18.5 8 3
    W2 (wilbowil) 51 14 8 3
    37 (W1 - Mason's) 41 12 18.4 6
    38 44.8 12.5 18.2 5
    41 34.8 10 23 7
    42 25 7 34 11
    43 17.8 5.5 50 15
    44 14 4.5 45.4 13
    45 11 3 48.4 14
    46 10 3 49.4 14.5

More information about wilderness hiking

If your campsite is accessible by water

Navigation buoys are no longer on Kejimkujik Lake. Visitors must come prepared to navigate to their campsite via map and compass and GPS enabled device.

Check water levels with Visitor Centre staff.

Lakes: Travel on the lakes in the morning to avoid windy afternoon conditions. Travel may be difficult during high winds, so an early start is best.

Rivers and streams: Rivers and streams: Most rivers and streams are slow and easy to travel on in general, but some may be impassable in certain conditions.

Paddling distances to campsites

Please note: Different distances are given for certain sites as there are different routes to get there depending on the portage chosen. The portage is indicated in ().

If the site you wish to stay at is not on the list below, then it is not accessible by canoe. 

    Distances (km) — One way
    Site # Big Dam Jake's Eel Weir
    Yurt at Jake's Landing (Y1) n/a 0 n/a
    1 1.5 24  
    2 2.25 23.5  
    3 3 22.5  
    4 4 21  
    5 8.5 16.75  
    6 9 16.5  
    7 9.5 16  
    8 10.5 15  
    9 15.5 9.5  
    10 16 9 13
    11 19 6.5 10
    12 33.25 2 7
    13 33.5 2 7
    14 33.75 2.5 6.5
    15 32.5 3 6.5
    16 33 5.5 6
    17 16 11 16
    18   6.5 3.5
    19   6.5 3
    20   5.5 8.5
    21 23.5 9.5 13
    22 24 10.5 13.5
    23   11 2.5
    24   7 4
    25   9.5 7
    26   11.5 (E) 9.5 (E)
      12 (A) 9 (A)
    27   12.5 (E) 10.5 (E)
      11 (A) 9 (A)
    W2   13.5 11.5
    29   13.5 11.5
    30   15 13
    31    11.5 9
    32   12 9.5
    34   14.5 11
    37 (W1)
    17 15
    38   17 15
    40
    20 17.5
    41     17
    44 11 17 21.5
    45 9.5 17.5 22
    46 10 18 22.5

More information about wilderness paddling

Maps

Backcountry Guide Map for Kejimkujik

Firewood drops

Register your trip and obtain permits

Before you go, you must register your trip and get the permits required.

Three ways to register:

  • By email a few days before your trip. The Visitor Centre team will send an email a few days before your trip. Respond to this email to make your check-in easier and faster.
  • At the Visitor Centre when you arrive.
  • By telephone, if you are planning to arrive when the Visitor Centre is closed: 902-682-2772.

Registration after hours is not available.

Be sure to ask staff about current and long-range weather forecasts, known hazards, policies, regulations, and available safety information.

Permits

Permits must be issued prior to proceeding into the backcountry – even if you have a reservation. Be sure to display a copy of your entrance/camping permit on your vehicle dash.

A permit is required for camping, parking, campfires (firewood), and fishing.

Two ways to pick up your permits

  • When entering Kejimkujik, stop at the Visitor Centre to pick up your permit.
  • If you are planning to arrive when the Visitor Centre is closed, have your permit issued in advance by calling 902-682-2772.

Check-in and check-out

Check-in time

Check-in any time on your date of arrival. Please keep in mind that your site may be occupied until 12 pm.

Permit must be issued from the Visitor Centre in time for you to reach your campsite during daylight hours.

If you are planning to arrive before the Visitor Center is open, let us know by calling 902-682-2772 the day before your departure. The Visitor Center will prepare your permits and tell you how to get them.

Check-out time

Leave your site before 12 pm.

Quiet hours

Excessive noise is not permitted at any time.

Be prepared

You are responsible for your own safety. Be prepared for changing weather conditions, be aware of hazards, and have adequate information and equipment to ensure a safe visit.

Before you go

Before you go, tell someone you trust where you are going and what your plans are. Contact this person when you have completed your trip.

Current advisories, warnings, and closures

Important announcements, fire bans, rules, notifications, and active superintendent orders.

Visitor safety

Backcountry, what to bring, paddling, hiking, drinking water, animals, insects, and ticks.

Visitor guidelines

Fire, firewood, alcohol, cannabis, pets, food, garbage, firearms, and fishing.

AdventureSmart

Prepare for your activity with AdventureSmart.

What to bring

Water or filtration system, map and compass, fuel and camp stove, axe, canoe or kayak, bug spray.

Whynot Adventure, The Keji Outfitters

Equipment rentals and guided adventures.

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