The gold mines trail is one of Keji’s shorter hikes as a 3km semi-looped trail. It requires a bit of a drive from the more popular spots of Keji (i.e. 6kms from Jake’s Landing) to one of the more remote areas of the park along Eel Weir Road.
This part of the park is often full of ticks and flies, so bring fly spray and a tick remover. Access to this area of the park is restricted in the off-season so make sure to visit from May 17 - Oct. 12.
The trail is an interpretive one telling the story of the areas gold mining past dating back to 1884. Along the way you will learn all kinds of things ranging from the geology and nature of the area, how prospecting was done, and the complete history of its gold fever past.
Relics from the prospectors still remain today and are on display towards the back end of the trail. Signs explain how some of the pieces were used in early 1900s extensive prospecting operations.
As well as informative interpretive panels, the trail also features wooden cutouts of typical prospectors and prospecting scenes from the past. A map from 1914 of the entire gold district posted along the way shows how active the area was.
Mining pits are still visible at regular intervals and are fenced off for safety. Quartzite, and slate rock still fill the landscape and you get a good idea of the unique geology that would have enticed the generations of prospectors who came here to try to do what others couldn’t.
As with many gold rush sites, no one struck it rich here, but it certainly wasn’t for lack of effort. Today, you can enjoy the nice nature stroll with the ghosts of the past whispering in the wind that maybe there is gold yet to be found here.
Recommended Reading: “The Gold Fields of Nova Scotia: A Prospectors Handbook (1923).