River Route 5-1: The Mersey River (Kejimkujik Lake to Lake Rossignol)
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|South Shore Region
|Where To Find Us
|Lunenburg County ; Queens County (NS)
|Chad Haughn, President, LQRCDA
Description & Services
|THE MERSEY RIVER RIVER ROUTE 5
Mersey River One - Kejimkujik Lake to Lake Rossignol
A short easy stretch of the Mersey that flows through the protected scenic forests of a national park.
Where: Near Caledonia
Skill Level: Beginner, Rapids- Class 1-2
Time: Day trip
Distance: 8 km
Portages: One short portage, one other possible
Start: Various locations in Park
Finish: Bridge above Lake Rossignol
The Mersey River is a long river beginning far inland, flowing through Kejimkujik National Park (called Kedjie by many people) and ending in the coastal town of Liverpool. This particular section of the Mersey (also known as the Kedge River) flows out of Lake George just below the vast Kejimkujik Lake down to the even vaster Lake Rossignol. It appears deep enough to paddle for the most part. In times of low water some longer portages may be required. Although this is a lovely route with gentle flowing waters and good campsites, it has one major drawback - a long car shuttle (about 45 minutes one way) for the distance paddled. However it is included here because a trip up the Mersey River (Kedge River) is part of the Tent Dwellers route, named after the 1908 book of the same name by Albert Bigelow Paine. (See Shelburne River Route 8 for a map of Kejimkujik National Park and more about the Tent Dwellers Route). This multi-day route goes from Kejimkujik Lake through a series of other lakes in the park, down the lower Shelburne River, up Lake Rossignol and back up the Kedge River to your starting point. This route can also be combined with other routes in this book (see Connections below).
Water Safety Notes - (See River Notes)
Rapid 1 - As you approach the bridge where the Kedge River flows out of Lake George, take out well above it on the right hand shore at a marked portage to scout the Class 2 rapids. These can be run by intermediate paddlers when the water level is high enough. The portage is listed by the Park at 800 m but you can put in before this as the rapids get easier as you go downstream. Otherwise continue on to where you feel comfortable reentering.
Rapid 2 - About 500 m further on is a short bouldery section requiring some manoeuvring. No need to portage. At the entrance to Loon Lake, the current picks up speed for a fast run into the flat water of the lake. This is a good spot to practice your ferrying and eddy turns.
Rapid 3 - At Loon Lake Falls, you will need to do a short portage (200m) around the falls river right. There is a park campsite here with a large covered platform. Once past here, the river is mostly wide and meandering with only a few easy boulder gardens to manoeuvre through. You may even encounter a few motor boats coming up from the bridge.
Exit Point 1 - Take out river left just above the bridge (rapids below)
Rapid 4 - If you plan to continue to Low landing (Exit Two), scout the rapids from the bridge to decide which section to pass under. Otherwise do a short portage river left. From here it’s about 3 km to Lake Rossignol with some rapids in the first half km and another 2 km to Low Landing. As you travel from the bridge to the lake, you’ll notice a distinct change in the scenery as a result of flooding of Lake Rossignol. (See Lake Route 5) The shoreline becomes muddier and the river is dotted with dead trees that look like poles just above and below the water. This change becomes more and more eerie as you approach the lake itself which is filled with rock piles and boulders.
How to get there
From Caledonia, travel toward West Caledonia about 5km.
Exit Point 1 - Mersey (Kedge) River Bridge
Turn left onto the Devonshire Road. Go past the turn off to Low’s Landing at the 11 km mark and continue straight about 4 km to the bridge. A gate across the bridge restricts vehicle access to the private roads of Bowater Mersey Paper Company Limited. This bridge area is a traditionally used spot for camping with lots of parking.
Exit Point 2 - Low Landing
Turn left onto the Devonshire Road. At the 10 km mark you will see a spring on your left, a good place to fill up. At 11 km, turn left to Low Landing (look for the sign). The access point is 2 km further down this road. This is a good site for parking and camping with a large level grassy area, an old foundation, an old well, and big oaks and maples. The carry is about 30 m or more depending on the water level. Exiting here can be tricky if the water is very low (slimy rocks and boot eating mud). An alternate if you have a truck is to take out at the point to the right where you can exit at a small beach.
Access Point 1 - Kejimkujik National Park
Off Route 8 north of Caledonia. Access water at various locations on Kejimkujik Lake or the bridge below George Lake. The Park has excellent maps available at the visitor centre where you check in. There is a fee for day use and overnight camping.
Loon Lake Falls
Exit Point 1 and Exit Point 2
For other multiday trips including the Kedge (and to make the car ferry worthwhile), you can paddle down the Mersey (Kedge) River and on to the far end of Lake Rossignol (Intermediate to expert skills required) Take out here at Dam One at Ponhook Indian Reservation (Indian Gardens) or continue on down the Mersey River to Liverpool. Another possibility is to paddle across the top end of Rossignol and connect with the Christopher Lakes chain.
Lake Rossignol- Lake Route 5
Christopher Lakes- Lake Route 3
Mersey River Two - This Route - Part Two
For more information
Kejimkujik National Park 902-682-2772. If travelling through the park to outside the boundary, you’ll still need to get a permit at the visitor centre and return it (when you come back for your car) or call when your trip is done. If you plan to stay overnight at a park backcountry camping site, you’ll need to make a reservation in advance. The park is not responsible for people travelling outside park boundaries.
Topographic map - Kejimkujik Lake 21 A/6
|Ages: 16 year(s) and up
Children under 16 with adults - please use own discretion depending on skill level
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