Kouchibouguac National Park…Swat!


What's that buzzing sound?

What’s that buzzing sound?

What can I say about Kouchibouguac National Park (The Koosh).  It’s very pretty, by a lovely river, by some great barrier islands, with long isolated beaches, a few hiking trails and miles of  biking trails.

But, OMG, the mosquitoes!  We can’t say we’d not been warned, but it’s difficult to realize the amount of mosquitoes there until you experience it.

kouch  001The day we arrived at our campsite and started setting up, we both were attacked by mosquitoes immediately.  Really bad.  But, it was just before sunset which we know is usually the worst time for mosquitoes so there was hope.

RF-Graphic-from-DrawShop-A-happy-cartoon-mosquito-dancing-and-smiling.-7385-359508672-mosquito-cartoonWell, basically, they were bad, worse or worst.  And Canadian mosquitoes are big!   We’d encountered them before, but this was a whole other level.  And yes, they were worst at dusk, or after a rain shower, which we had a couple of while there.

As hard to believe as it may be, the mosquitoes were as bad there as in the Everglades National Park in Florida in the summer.  Only the strongest chemical mosquito repellent worked.  And I try to avoid using those really strong chemicals if possible.

As it happened, I’d been feeling a little under the weather, so I took this as a sign and took a couple of down days.  I started some French lessons in anticipation of going to Quebec, worked on the blog and on a couple of other chores.  The good news:  our campsite had a pretty view of the river out the front windows.kouch  014

Staying in also meant extra snuggle time with Angel.  But Hector was much more brave than I and did some road biking and mountain biking on the mountain bike trail and on the regular biking trail while I stayed in.  Of course he used heavy repellent and it worked pretty well, as long as he was moving.  But the little buggers bit him through the bike shorts – ouch!

kouch  003kouch  006kouch  004Well, after a couple of days, I too braved the exterior, and, after covering myself in mosquito repellent headed out with Hector to go kayaking.  There’s a little tiny barrier island across the way (they call is seal island) where lots of gray seals hang out.  The park offers a guided tour that to the island to to see them, but, since we have our own kayaks, we went on our own.

kouch  009kouch  008It was quite windy and the paddle into the wind turned out to be farther than we’d calculated but we made it out there.  Good news was; since it was windy, mosquitoes were down.   The island had a couple of pretty beaches,  and, in fact, a bunch of motorboats had anchored there.  But, alas, no gray seals.  Not a single one.

kouch  012kouch  005We checked out the beaches on both sides of the island and headed back.  The next barrier island down has a piping plover colony (it’s protected, so no one is allowed on the island) and we saw a couple of Piping Plovers, very pretty birds.  We also saw a lot of Terns and Cormorants.

kouch  010While heading back, we bumped into several other kayakers looking for gray seals.  It seems the seals are on the island at specific times, possibly according to the tides but none of us knew when.  Oops.  Well, it was still a beautiful outing and the 8½ mile paddle was a good workout for me after my lazy couple of days.

kouch  0130511-1007-2118-0632_Cartoon_of_a_Man_Running_and_Screaming_with_a_Swarm_of_Mosquitoes_on_His_Face_clipart_imageThat day right around dusk I noticed another RV arriving nearby.  The guy got out to set up, and suddenly he started doing the mosquito dance, slapping his face, swatting then covering himself up with repellent.  We know the dance.

The next day, I headed out on the bike trail with Hector.  The park’s bike trail is a fairly level trail covered in very fine gravel, and goes around the river.  In fact, this is where we took Angel for her walks – poor little Angel was surrounded by mosquitoes every time we took her out, but I think her long fur was too much for them to navigate thank goodness.

kouch  016kouch  017The bike around the river was very pretty and we spotted some bear poop, but no bears.  This is black bear country also.  And the bike ride wasn’t terrible as far as the mosquitoes.  The trick is to go out when it’s a little breezy.  And wear lots of mosquito repellent, which I did.  And I wore two pairs of shorts, heh, heh.

The day we left, we met another couple who was on their way out at the dump site.  They were from Nova Scotia and said they were leaving a day early because of the mosquitoes.  Seriously they were that bad.

kouch  018I felt a bit sorry that I didn’t fully experience this park, but I did enjoy a little of it.  And we’re not alone, we bought a shot glass at the gift shop that has giant mosquitoes and two terrified eyes peering out from a tent.   A perfect memento of our time at “the Koosh”.

~ Brenda

10 thoughts on “Kouchibouguac National Park…Swat!

  1. I hear ya!! Sometimes in the Adirondacks (especially in wetland areas), between the black flies and the mosquitoes, I didn’t know which way to run! I don’t like to wear deet either so I invested in a bug hat. (http://www.bugshirt.com/products/) It works wonders if you can get used to the mesh. There’s also a bug shirt that’s great, too. Another idea is to eat tons of garlic — so much that it eeks out of your pores. It’s a natural repellent and works wonders!

    • Thanks, Rebecca. Hector has some of that bug clothing, I don’t, but I do have a good hat with a neck cover and mesh for my face. I do prefer the clothing to the chemical, so will check into some of the “bug clothing”. Garlic is good too, not sure I can eat enough to work though. But you know I love the natural solutions whenever possible.
      Take care,

  2. Can you kayak any further north in North America? Kayaking from the northeast tip and I saw you kayaking in Key West, which is the southeast tip. Amazing! More beautiful pics! Thanks.

  3. Looked like you are the only people in that park., too bad the ‘quitoes were harassing you.
    Still here in North Sydney and leaving tomorrow for Linwood. We had been homebound lately as rain has been pouring in the past two days.

  4. Oh Brenda, those mosquitoes at the Koosh sound awful. Just one in the cottage is enough to send me into “code red” mode, lol. I cannot stand them!!! But now that it is September I think you should be ok, as they don’t wear overcoats and they do not like the cold temps. I cannot wait to see your pics of La Belle Province. I am busy back at school and our youngest is being married this Saturday at Pictou Lodge. Dave says hello!
    Happy travels,

    • Hi, Beth. I have to tell you that I watched your daughter’s Save the Date video which you mentioned in one of your posts and Hector and I think it’s one of the most adorable and funny things we’ve seen very creative. The wedding should be lots of fun! We’re really enjoying Quebec, posts are coming soon. Hello to Dave from both of us.Best,Brenda

      > Date: Tue, 3 Sep 2013 23:57:04 +0000 > To: brendavlopez@msn.com >

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