Keji Seaside closed for maintenance

·1 min read

Parks Canada has closed Kejimkujik National Park Seaside to repair damage sustained by Hurricane Dorian in 2019.

The closure began Oct. 20 and will continue through to the end of the year.

The Port Joli head trail, one of two trails on-site, has been closed since the fall of 2019, and rebuilding the trail will be a focus. It is estimated that between 15,000 to 20,000 people visit the seaside park each year.

“The trail is really unique and it also gets the full force of the ocean. When Hurricane Dorian hit, our trail infrastructure there got really damaged with erosion, washouts and undercutting on parts of the trails,” said Jonathan Sheppard, site superintendent at Kejimkujik.

“Since that time we realized we want to continue to keep providing an amazing coastal hiking experience for visitors, but in order to do so we needed to change the infrastructure to be resilient to climate change and the increased frequency and intensity of storms.”

The Port Joli trail is about 8.7 kilometres in length and will be completely reworked. Sheppard indicated parts of the trail will be moved back from the ocean, while the spectacular ocean views will be maintained.

The plan is also to rework the trail in such a way that will make the hike easier, including avoiding steep slopes, using better materials where needed and avoiding other areas completely.

The decision to close the entire park, including the parking lot and washrooms, is mainly a safety issue, according to Sheppard.

“We have to be moving a lot of materials and it would be neither safe nor enjoyable for visitors to be there while we are doing that intensive construction,” he said.

Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin

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