On our second day camping at Keji, it became cold and rainy…. so we just giggled and turned up the heat!Propane heating is just one of the benefits of the new, bigger, better, warmer oTentiks at Kejimikujik National Park and Historic Site. This group of five oTENTIKs, located at Jim Charles Point, was built new for the 2016 season.The inside of a new oTENTik is a sight to behold. Sparkling clean (with a broom so you can keep it that way!), the bunks have four 39 inch mattresses on the lower level and one bed on the top. In the living area: four chairs, a large table, propane heater and thermostat, and a single solar powered light.The beds fit a large family comfortably. Don’t forget to take along an under-sheet or blanket to place under your sleeping bag, and a comfortable pillow. The five new oTENTIKs are located in the former overflow camping area, just a few metres from Kedge beach. There is one wheelchair accessible outdoor toilet to share amongst campers. With only five plots, this group of sites is relatively peaceful compared to the hustle and bustle of the other loops. For your information, oTENTik number 425 has a wheelchair ramp and number 426 has the best view, overlooking honeymoon point.At Kedge Beach the playground and swings are in great shape, and the shore is perfect for swimming. Nearby, you will find modern washrooms with flush toilets and sinks, plus a brand new sink with hot water, to wash your dishes. To the left of the beach is the entrance to the section of the Slapfoot trail that leads to Jake’s Landing. It’s an beautiful short hike (about 1k), which was easily traversed by my toddler and seven year old.At Jake’s Landing, you’ll find Keji Outfitters with friendly staff and lots of equipment rental options, including bicycles, canoes and kayaks. My daughter and I took out a very stable tandem kayak and went for an easy paddle along the Mersey River, which took us just over an hour.Each time we reached a beautiful point in the journey (there were many) we rested our paddles and just sat, soaking in the scenery and the peacefulness. It was pretty special.When we returned, my daughter contributed to the “Wildlife Sightings” board at Keji Outfitters, reporting on our keen observations during the kayak trip. On the way home from Keji, we discovered a great family pit-stop: the cheerful Wilder Restaurant, with a Taste of Nova Scotia designation, only steps away from the entrance to Keji. A couple of healthy kids meals and some delicious sweet potato fries provided excellent fuel for the 2-hour journey back to Halifax. If you are thinking of visiting Keji for some comfortable camping, we definitely recommend the new oTENTiks, which are particularly suitable for those with limited mobility.
One consideration: because of the propane heat system, there are presently no open fires allowed at the site, so if a campfire is a must for your family, make sure you request the older oTENTiks at Jeremy’s Bay. Happy Camping!
oTENTIKs at Keji Details:
When: The camping season usually runs from May-October
Where: Kejimikujik National Park, 3005 Main Pky, Maitland Bridge, NS B0T 1B0
Cost: Both the old and new oTENTiks are $100 per night, including tax ($120 if you bring a pet)
Phone National Information: 1-888-773-8888
Phone (Keji Visitors Centre): Phone: 902-682-2772
How to Reserve your oTENTik at Keji:
Website Reservations: www.reservation.pc.gc.ca
Telephone Reservations: 1-877-737-3783 (1-877-RESERVE)
Helen is a Halifax-based travel writer. Her stay at Keji was hosted by Parks Canada