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Exploring Frozen Ocean

This is part two of my previous post about the upcoming geocaching/hiking challenge at Kejimkujik National Park on November 6th 2010.

My second trip to the park was to finalize the geocache locations and to place the containers in five locations within the park. Event participants can then use their GPS to find them along the trail. Parks Canada policy restricts placing the containers to marked trails only. So this allows participants to enjoy the trails without having to go off-trail.

With park staff assisting me, we needed to get all five containers into place, this included a trip into the backcountry. 80% of the park is in the backcountry. There are a number of hiking loops that allows for visitors to explore the backcountry over a few days by camping overnight at one of the backcountry camp sites.

We started our day by heading out on the Channel Lake Trail; this is a 24km loop starting at Big Dam. There are a number of walk-in camp sites, portage area and backcountry site #1. There are a few other ways to access this trail, we decided to access the trail via a boundary gate, which still gave us a 15km round trip hike to complete.

We eventually approach the next cluster of backcountry sites (5 & 46). One of the best ways to experience this area of the park is via canoe or kayak. Still Brook offers access between Big Dam Lake & Frozen Ocean Lake. As you walk the trail, you cross over interesting rock formations like Eskers and Drumlins.

After the four hour hike (it will be a bit longer if you do start from Big Dam parking lot), we then headed out to our next location to Indian Point.

For this trip, we needed to paddle along Kejimkujik Lake into Jeremy’s Bay to Portage W. The canoe/kayak rental kiosk at Jakes Landing is open during the on-season. However Meadow Beach in the campground section would have been the preferred launch point if we had our canoe attached to our vehicle.

The paddle took about two hours complete. One of the first things that I noticed was how large the lake is; something that you do not really notice while on land. This was my second time in a canoe and other than sore shoulders this was the best experience of the day. I had also noticed how dark the water is. This is due to the watersheds and bogs that feed into the lake. I called it Nature’s Tea, but I’m told that the locals call the Mersey Tea instead.

The more experienced can paddle the a loop starting at Big Dam, across Frozen Ocean and a few portages to end up at Jake’s Landing. This overall loop would be shortest way to access the geocaches that are part of the challenge.

We placed the remaining containers once we were back at Jakes Landing. The total time hiking/paddling/driving was 10 hours & 25 minutes. We hiked around 20 kms and paddled almost 10 kms. I was pretty tired once I finally got back to me car.

The launch event on November 6th should be a great time, provided that the weather isn’t too dreary. I plan to do some late season camping after the event along with a few friends.

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