Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park has some of the most breathtaking winter scenery

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park near Thunder Bay is one of the province's most breathtaking landscapes all year round, with iconic cliffs and massive gorges.

In the winter, vast snow-covered cliff faces contrasted with the icy waters of Lake Superior transform the park into a jaw-dropping winter wonderland. The park also boasts one of Ontario's highest points from the Top of the Giant Trail, 950 feet above the world's largest freshwater lake.

The park was originally named Sibley Provincial Park, after the peninsula it is located on. In 1988, it was renamed Sleeping Giant, or "Nanabijou" (Spirit of the Deep Water), due to the massive rock formation that looks like a giant lying on its back as viewed across the lake from Thunder Bay.

According to an Ojibway legend, the giant was turned to stone when the White Man took Silver Islet, a rich silver mine.

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park has over 100km of hiking trails, as well as some of the best cross-country skiing in Ontario with 50 km of groomed skate and classic trails.

There are multiple lakes which freeze over in the winter, gorgeous scenic outlooks, and intriguing rock formations, such as the Sea Lion or Tee Harbour.

The Sea Lion is a sedimentary rock formation that projects 15 metres into Lake Superior. Named before the 1900's, the formation originally resembled a sea lion looking over the bay, but the “head” has since eroded into the waters.

Tee Harbour is named for the T-shape of the land, which leads to a large outcrop jutting into Lake Superior. The trail to Tee Harbour is wide and gently rolling, often biked or skied.

The Marie Louise Lake Viewing Point is another must-see during your visit to the park, which is a scenic viewpoint where Highway 587 intersects with Marie Louise Lake, offering an incredible view of the giant.

For those looking to extend their visit to the park, Sleeping Giant also has five rustic cabins open for reservations all year-round. They have three bedrooms, a washroom, a fully equipped modern kitchen, propane fireplace, even a heated sun porch.

The park requires a daily vehicle permit, which can be reserved online up to five days in advance of your trip.

Lead photo by

Marin Scotten

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