Recommended First Time Backcountry Camping at Kejimkujik National Park (Maitland Bridge, NS)

My wee one (3) and her friend (5) hiking like champions!

This post goes out to a lovely fellow, AW, who has been reading my posts and anxiously awaiting more. Thank you for reading!

Kejimkujik seriously is an amazing place to take your kids! If you have not been there yet, make it top on your list for NS! I wrote about Keji before here. This time I want to write about an even easier Keji hike that may be a bit better of a challenge for folks’ first time backcountry trek with kids: Site 3. 

Site 3 is only 3.2km from the Big Dam parking lot. (See hiking distances here). It is a very easy hike. The first half is wide with crushed gravel. It runs along the Hemlocks & Hardwoods trail (map), a popular day-use spot. You could use a jogging stroller here if you were only going to Site 1. 

My 3-year-old on the smooth path near Hemlocks & Hardwoods trail.


Beyond Site 1, it becomes slightly more hilly and less smooth. A jogging stroller would still be possible, but less enjoyable to maneuver. There is the occasional boot-sinking sludge puddle if you hit the trail within a day or two of a decent rain, but for the most part, it is pine needly earth and a few protruding roots–nothing too intimidating for an adventurous preschooler!  

Second half (not necessarily literal half, but thereabout) of the trail to Site 3.


But the best part is that the hike is so short–while still leaving you feeling deeply removed from the noise of the daily grind–that even beginners could endure carrying the weight for such a short trek. Or if you really had to, someone could stay with the kiddo(s) to get camp set up while someone else could make a second run to the Big Dam parking lot for gear. (Okay you adventurous hikers who may be reading who do not have offspring: children can be volatile! Or at least unpredictable, making two trips a reality!) 

So seriously, if the thing keeping you from trying backcountry with your wee one(s) is anxiety about things going terribly wrong and being too far from “civilization” to solve any dilemmas, Site 3 at Keji would be a great starting place for you! 

The sites are almost always well-marked. Site 3 is down a small path to the left of the main trail. 

When you get to the site, you will be greeted with the wonderful comforts of backcountry at Keji: lake access at your site, privacy (in this case, the next sites are over a kilometer away), a picnic table!, dry firewood and a fire pit, a pit privy for your site, 2 tent pads, and a proper bear hang! Need I say more? It is luxurious!

Big Dam Lake at Site 3. Gorgeous view of the sunset here too!

My favourite part of Site 3 (and the kiddos’ too!) was this gorgeous rock-hugging tree! 

Tent pad.

Keji has great bear hang systems, but this one was frayed, and I got a splinter from it, so do be careful! 


There is my recommendation for a first time backcountry hike with your kiddos in Nova Scotia! Now get outdoors and enjoy some nature time with your wee ones! 

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