We have been to Sleeping Giant Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada a couple times now. It is a great destination if you happen to be in that neck of the woods. As part of the Lake Superior Circle Tour this park offers a ton of different things to do. The Marie Louise Lake campground offers a variety of site types; most of which have a great view of Sleeping Giant from across the lake as well as stairs leading right down to the waters edge.
On this particular trip our goal was to do the Top of the Giant hike. A very strenuous 15 mile (22 km) hike to the top and back. To get to the Top of the Giant you start at the Kabeyun trail head parking lot. In peak months this is a popular lot because it is how you get to the Sea Lion trail which is a true hot spot in the park. This day was foggy and early in the season so trail traffic was very minimal. We started our trek and decided to check out the Sea Lion as it was shortly into our hike. It is a short trail that winds along the shore and comes to an overlook.
After this quick detour we returned to the Kabeyun trail. This trail is fairly easy and nice and wide to accommodate for bikers and larger groups of people. This part of the hike follows along the lake shore and is pretty even for about 5 miles.
After awhile we came to a fork in the trail and continued our hike on the Talus Lake Trail. This was the start of the ascent to the Top of the Giant. By this point our legs were warmed up and the hike hadn’t been as tough as anticipated.
We reached Talus Lake and stopped a listened to the frogs for awhile. Talus Lake was beautiful and surround by huge cliffs and fallen trees. After a short rest we pumped ourselves up for the 1.5 mile switchback climb up to the Top of the Giant. To say this was a tough hike would be an understatement. The trail had a continuously steep grade paired with loose gravel and insane stairs (I use the term stairs loosely as these so called steps were at times as high as my waist and I am 5’8″.) After some curse words we did finally make it to the top and it was SOOOOOOOOO worth it.
We hung out at the Top of the Giant for awhile; eating lunch and giving our legs a much needed break. Once we felt rested up we began our descent back down which was just as difficult as the climb up. I highly recommend hiking poles for this part.
The whole hike took us about 7 hours and was completely worth it. The pictures don’t do the view justice; it is absolutely breath taking at the Top of the Giant.
We returned to our campsite and enjoyed a couple cold beers and some campfire nachos (one of my favorites)!
To cap off a great day the Northern Lights put on an amazing show that night. That kept us up late staring up at the night sky watching the lights dance and shift in stunning colors and formations. If you haven’t ever seen the Northern Lights it is one of those indescribable things to watch (put it on your bucket list if it isn’t already). I unfortunately didn’t have a camera with me that was capable of capturing their beauty.
The next morning we packed up and headed to our next destination. On our way out we saw this guy enjoying a morning snack.
Overall it was a great trip back to Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. If you ever happen to be in Thunder Bay, Ontario, take the time to check this place out.