The Sleeping Giant is one of Canada’s most iconic landforms—one that you cannot miss if you drive through Thunder Bay . The “Top of the Giant” trail at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park is a challenging hike with a 290-metre climb to some of the tallest cliffs in Ontario. It is a hike that will bring you to your knees, or at least to the knees of the Giant.
The Sleeping Giant is located at the end of the 52-kilomtre long Sibley Peninsula which juts out from the north shore of Lake Superior, just east of Thunder Bay. The Giant is formed by a series of flat-topped mesas that resemble a recumbent human—the legendary Nanobosho.
The hike begins at the south Kabeyun Trailhead with an easy 6.5 kilometre trail that leads just past Tee Harbour to the base of the Giant. This section of the trail is an easy hike or a fun mountain bike ride because it is wide, relatively smooth and has rolling hills. Plus, taking your bike will enable you to spend more time enjoying the view.
The Top of the Giant trail is impeccably designed with switchbacks and stairs for the steep sections. This makes for a hike that is physically demanding without being overly technical. The trail winds its way to the top of the Giant and then continues another two kilometres to a scenic lookout atop the knees of the Sleeping Giant.
The trees and shrubs on the Giant are noticeably stunted and some species of plants are typically found in the Arctic—indicators of the cold and windswept growing conditions.
The panoramic view of Lake Superior’s crystal clear water and Thunder Bay to the west is awesome—it might just bring you to your knees!