My friends Steve and Richard and I had arrived at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park two nights earlier from southern Ontario to meet our pal George at the Park. I have yet to experience the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia, but I have bicycled across the Rocky Mountains, and I would posit that the drive around Lake Superior from Sault Ste. Marie to the Giant is as great a drive as anywhere in Canada, and I am confident that it would stand up well to any great route on the planet.
Anyways, at this point in our 5 day adventure, including 2 travel days, all 4 of us were still energetic and game to tackle the Park's centrepiece trail. The beach shown here provided an opportunity to cool down slightly. Several hours later on the return, however, when we reached this same beach, some of us (me) wondered if the hike would ever end.
"Are we there yet?"
The excursion was definitely worth the effort, though. The views from the summit of the Giant are truly amazing. It was like walking through "The Lost World" of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. We would hike through the dense brush and thick trails, and then, just when I thought that I had seen the best views possible, we would pass a thicket, turn a corner, et voila, the city of Thunder Bay appears on the opposite shoreline, roughly 25km across Thunder Bay, with the azure blues of the lake 800 or 900 feet below, and the azure blues of the sky above, complimented by lush green forest on the slopes of the coasts.
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park is popular with mid-western Americans and Canadians since it is only a few hours drive from Minneapolis and Winnipeg.
The Sleeping Giant Trail is the southern sliver of the Park on the western coast, with the Thunder Cape Bird Observatory at the extreme southern point.
How do large, mature trees end up at the top of a thousand foot cliff? I guess the escarpment rises gradually from the northern part of the Sibley Peninsula, but still, it is pretty cool to see that much green after practically scrambling straight up for so long. Just goes to show that absolutely nothing humans can create comes close to the creativity of the original Master Artist!
The Giant is very important to First Nations history. A good link to begin to learn more about this aspect is:
Some other good links about the area include these: