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Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

Day tripping from Thunder Bay, Ontario

It is easy to see why this spectacular formation is known as the Sleeping Giant. In Ojibway legend, the Sleeping Giant is known as Nanabijou, who turned into stone for revealing the secret location of Silver Islet mine opening to white men. The partially submerged shafts of what was the richest silver mine of the area can still be seen at the foot of the Sleeping Giant. There have been many unsuccessful attempts to pump out the flooded shafts. My indigenous guidebook suggested that this is because the curse continues.

Surrounding the formation is Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Not only does the park offer incredible views but it also includes hundreds of kilometers of hiking trails with spectacular rock formations, as well as campgrounds with terrific amenities. The park's website boasts of excellent wildlife viewing, and a spectacular Visitor's Centre. I had stopped in Thunder Bay for a couple of days to explore the area. My host strongly recommended I take Highway 538 out to Sleeping Giant and offered a list of his favourites hikes. On the way to the park, I passed under the Pass Lake Bridge, a spectacular trestle bridge.