Awaken to the Wonders of the Sleeping Giant

Explore one of Canada’s Most Breathtaking Parks

Nestled on Sibley Peninsula, jutting out from the north shore of Lake Superior across from Thunder Bay, rests The Sleeping Giant, a formation of lowlands, cliffs, valleys and mesa-cuestas that make up one of Canada’s most popular natural attractions.

From a distance, it resembles a giant reclining on its back with hands folded on its chest and feet pointing up at the sky as the name suggests. But up close, you’ll find a park brimming with natural wonders, lush flora and fauna, scenic trails and beautiful share-worthy vistas.

Visitors enter the 244-square-kilometer Sleeping Giant Provincial Park from the east, turning off Highway 11 onto Pass Lake Road (Hwy. 587). From there, it’s just a short scenic drive, winding through forests, over rivers and past lakes to the park entrance.

Now it’s time to explore! And there are so many ways to do it with over 100 kilometers of scenic trails, guided nature walks, boating and cycling. The trails range from the half-kilometre Plantain Lane Trail, to the longest trail in the park, the 40-kilometre Kabeyun Trail. But perhaps the most popular is the Top of the Giant Trail (2.7 km), which rewards intrepid hikers with unforgettable panoramas from the Thunder Bay Lookout.

As you explore the incredible trails by hike or by bike, you’ll discover spectacular geological features, like the ‘Sea Lion’ and Tee Harbour, along with the park’s unique and diverse foliage. Plants found in the park include Ostrich Ferns, Large Leaf Asters, Thimbleberries, Eastern Cedar, White Pine and over 23 species of Orchids. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a Bog Adder's-Mouth or a small Round-Leaved Orchid, two of Ontario's rarest species.

The park’s boreal forests are also home to an abundance of wildlife, including white tailed dear, moose, wolf, fox, lynx, amphibians, reptiles and over 200 bird species, 75 of which are known to nest in the park. Magnolia Warblers, Black-Capped Chickadees and Winter Wrens all grace the forests with their melodic birdsongs. Avian enthusiasts will also want to check out the Thunder Cape Bird Observatory on the southern tip of the peninsula to touch base with local experts.

Because the park’s so vast, it’s a good idea to spend several days and take advantage of the park’s over 240 campsites. Ranging from backcountry camping, car camping, group camping and cottages—they can all be booked in advance through the Park Office.

From your campsite, it shouldn’t be far to the Sleeping Giant Visitor Centre, located in the Marie Louise Lake Campground. There you’ll find interactive exhibits showcasing the history of the Sibley Peninsula. One of the current exhibits features a model of the Silver Islet Mine, which ties in with the legend of the Sleeping Giant. According to a local lore, the Sleeping Giant is the Spirit of the Deep Sea Water, “Nanabijou”, who turned to stone when ‘the white men’ were given the location of the mine.

Another great way to experience Sleeping Giant Provincial Park is with a Hike ‘N Sail Lake Superior Adventure, an Ontario Signature Experience. Sail the world’s largest freshwater lake, from Welcome Islands to Sawyers Bay behind the Giant’s head. Then hit the trails for an epic hike through the wilderness.

However you choose to experience this legendary park, it’s sure to be an experience you’ll remember for years to come.

About Greg Smart

Greg Smart is an avid traveller, passionate about exploring new horizons, collecting unique experiences and sharing the interesting stories of his adventures abroad.  

Recommended Articles

Sun’s Out, Water Guns Out

The Ultimate Algoma Beach Road Trip

Top 5 Things To Do In Restoule Provincial Park

Discover one of Explorers' Edge’s best-kept secrets

Can’t Get Enough of Killarney

My love affair with Killarney

The Polar Bear Necessities

A Journey to Cochrane’s Polar Bear Habitat

Picturesque Adventures in Explorers’ Edge

Explore the beautiful Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve

A Dozen Ways to Fill Your Days

Exploring Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park

Arrowhead's Winter Wonderland

Paddling Adventures in Northeastern Ontario

Discover hotspots near Sudbury, Timmins and North Bay.

A moms-and-daughters adventure

Kayaking Georgian Bay’s Biosphere Reserve

7 Ways to Stay Warm in the Soo

Tackling the Trails of Explorers' Edge

Discover amazing trails in Loring-Restoule and Almaguin Highlands

Captain Canada

Cross-country canoe veteran Mike Ranta’s Top 4 Attractions on Algoma’s Great Lakes Coast

In Awe of Ouimet Canyon

Take a journey through Northwestern Ontario’s most picturesque canyon.

Ski the Sleeping Giant

Roughin’ It and Lovin’ It

The top three close-to-home campgrounds in Explorer’s Edge

Quintessentially Canadian

Discover heritage events and activities around Canada Day

Algoma’s Secret Backcountry

Earn your turns north of Sault Ste. Marie

5 Ways to Experience Lake Superior Provincial Park in the Winter

Your Great Adventure Awaits in Algoma

Explore Like Never Before

Paddling Wabakimi Provincial Park