Great Canadian Parks / Nova Scotia

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The Parks / Nova Scotia / Kejimkujik National Park


The earliest inhabitants of the park were Maritime Archaic Indians moving through the area about 4500 years ago. The nomadic Woodland Indians traveled the inland waterways between the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic coast, using seasonal campsites along the shores of Kejimkujik’s rivers and lakes. Their descendants, the Micmac, who have lived here for at least the last 2000 years, hunting, fishing and camping along the canoe routes, almost disappeared when the Europeans arrived around the 1820’s. Petroglyphs, images inscribed in soft slate, depict the dress, family life and hunting and fishing activities of the Micmac culture in the 18th and 19th centuries. The European settlers, who cultivated the richer soils on the eastern portion, farmed nearly half of the land in the park. All the parklands were logged at one time, the lakes and rivers providing access to sawmills on the coast. The pits, iron boilers and miners’ cabins mark the three small gold mines within the park.

 


The coastal elements of the natural region are represented by the 22 square kilometre Kejimkujik Seaside Adjunct, added to the park in 1988. Located about 25 kilometres southwest of Liverpool and 100 kilometres from the inland portion of the park, it is one of the least disturbed shoreline areas on the south coast of Nova Scotia. The Port Mouton peninsula features extensive brackish ponds and broad tidal flats, two spectacular white sandy beaches, salt lagoons, secluded coves and a nutrient productive salt marsh. Dense scrub alder and sheep laurel dominate the coastal tundra-like vegetation. The inland terrain is rugged - a wilderness of century-old spruce and fir, granite boulders and exposed bedrock carved by glaciation. On the barren uplands, boardwalks have been built over the marshy areas. The endangered piping plover, which nests on the beaches between late April and early August, is one of the many protected species that make up the wealth of birdlife. Waterfowl can be sighted in the lagoons, seaducks just offshore, and shorebirds on the tidal flats.

 

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