Nova Scotia’s Kejimkujik National Park Seaside will close on October 20, a report said. This is to repair the damages to the park that hurricane Dorian caused.
Site Superintendent Jonathan Sheppard said that extensive trail washes and coastal erosion resulting from the storm of 2019 have caused Parks Canada to close off the Port Joli Head Trail since the storm struck.
“For us, it just really bought into clear picture the challenges that we face with coastal infrastructure in a time of increased, both frequency and also, intensity, of storms,” said Sheppard.
Kejimkujik received more than $1 million of federal funds this year to aid in the reconstruction of areas of the inland park and along the coast.
Sheppard estimates the total number of people who visit Keji Seaside at between 15,000-20,000 each year.
He said waiting until after the peak tourism season finishes to start working was logical to reduce the impact on tourists.
It also allowed the park to create plans that didn’t simply rebuild what was already in place but also considered the effects that climate changes could have on the visitor experience in the years ahead.
“We’re not just filling the potholes and putting like with like,” said Sheppard. “We are really looking at what it means to build a climate-resilient trail network in a coastal area.”
Sheppard states that parts of the trail will be moved inland to prevent erosion. The route will be altered to avoid hills and make it easier to access. Rocks will also reinforce certain sections to prevent the trail from getting swept away by storms.
This isn’t the first time that part of Kejimkujik has been shut down to repair work in recent years.
Jeremy’s Bay Campground in the inland park was closed in 2020 to refurbish facilities and infrastructure in use since the 1970s.
Sheppard states that Kejimkujik staff learned it was much safer and easier to finish major-scale renovations without any visitors during the shutdown.
Sheppard anticipates the work at Keji Seaside to be completed by the close of December.
Visitors will be welcomed to stroll the trails and stroll along the coastline early in the new year.