Labour Day is a busy time of year at Kejimkujik National Park in Nova Scotia. It is one of the last weekends to enjoy summer like weather in the backcountry. As a result a good chunk of the backcountry sites were occupied as many were opting to canoe camp across a few sites.
So I opted for a day trip of paddling starting at Portage Q at the Big Dam parking lot. The game plan was to make it as far as Portage S, or to Frozen Ocean lake.
The morning was cold, 11C with stiff winds. Getting to Portage took a little over an hour. Portaging to the start of Still Brook took another 30 minutes.
The brook was sheltered from the wind so I meandered along another hour to reach Portage S. Campsite 5 was nearby however, pretty much every site I passed was occupied so I found a stump to enjoy some lunch and wait for another couple that were having their lunch at Portage R before attempting the brook.
As I was sending out tweets via my inReach, I was asked by a follow (Chris) to check out the crossing along Channel Lake Loop. I walked over and noticed a water level ruler, the water level was around the 65cm mark. Honestly, it looked like you could paddle instead of portage or if you were hiking across the brook, to wear some sandals and a extra pair of shorts.
The original plan was to paddle out further to the ranger station on Frozen Ocean, but the wind at the beginning wore me out, so I decided to head back to start. I had made an error in my distances and did not include Still Brook in the scope of things.
At this point, I had a little over 8kms on my Garmin inReach Explorer+ Trip Odometer. It was time to turn around.
Luckily the sun had come out and the wind started to die down.However there was enough wind in my back to cut off 45 minutes, which was good as Portage R felt longer as my arms were getting tired.
Once back at the truck, the trip odometer was a tad over 17kms. Not a bad day. Quick change into some dry clothes. The parking lot at big dam seemed more full than usual. I stopped at visitor centre and picked up a keji coffee mug.
Gear I Used
- Ocean Kayak Malibu Two
- Carlisle Day Tripper Paddle
- Garmin inReach Explorer+
- 30L dry bag
- Inflatable lifevest
- Osprey Syncro 15
- Nite-Ize Cam Jam Tie Down