Thu. Feb 29th, 2024
"Giant" generosity - Parks Blog

Our favorite natural spaces can move us. Scenic views, outdoor adventures and breathtaking experiences hold a special place in our hearts and minds.

Recently, a generous donor was so moved by the Kabeyun Trail in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park that he made a $25,000 donation to improve the trail.

We are talking about “giant” generosity!

Gateway to the giant

The 37 km Kabeyun Trail is the backbone of the park’s extensive trail network and the gateway to Ontario’s highest cliffs.

Sleeping Giant – Home to some of the most magical views in the province!

If you’ve ever hiked or biked in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, then you know that while the route (the top of the Giant Trail, accessed via the Kabeyun Trail) can be difficult, the experience is worth it. .

Simply Built

When it was built, the first section of the trail was made very simply using materials found along the route such as rocks, mud and sand, and included corduroy sections where logs were placed perpendicular to the trail in wet areas. It was used as an access road to transport happy campers to Tee Harbor until the 1980s.

Hiking trail marker sign on tree in forest

While public use of motorized vehicles is no longer permitted on the trail, a few decades of use by delighted hikers and cyclists left the trail in serious need of a facelift.

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Holy holes, hikers!

Regular trail maintenance takes care of downed trees and overgrown brush.

More complicated improvements, such as fixing trail base layers, are a more complex task and require considerably more resources than regular maintenance.

The Kabeyun trail is well loved and used. Inevitably, some serious potholes formed along the wet parts of the trail.

View of the trail with a large puddle and mud.

Some of the sunken and muddy areas were 30cm deep!

Hikers trying to avoid wet areas were constantly widening the trail. Riders often had to dismount to traverse the soggy, sinking mess.

View of the trail showing the widening of the road and the mud and water.

Improvements ahead

Fortunately for Kabeyun Trail users (and Ontario parks!), a kind and thoughtful donor noticed there was room for improvement.

They contacted the park and offered a whopping $25,000 gift to clean up the muddy mess along the first four miles of the trail.

Sunrise over the lake at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

Ontario Parks would like to send our donor (a long-time park visitor who asked to remain anonymous) a huge thank you!

Only a small portion of Ontario Parks’ budget comes from provincial taxes. Financial gifts like this can make a big difference in our parks!

Mission accomplished

A local company was hired to tackle the project. The donation was used to stabilize the trail, remove muddy sections, and establish a flatter, firmer rolling base for trail users to enjoy.

View of the trail after it was stabilized and flattened.

The work was completed last November, just in time to avoid the heavy snowfall the Sibley Peninsula is known for!

Happy hikers and cyclists

Although it hasn’t been long since the improvements were made, the positive feedback started almost immediately.

A group of riders said they were able to ride this section of trail without dismounting for the first time in decades, now that those deep muddy holes are no more!

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View of the trail after improvements fix the mud and holes.

Donations make a difference

Do you have a prized spot in Ontario parks?

Please consider making a donation, big or small, to help protect it!

Winter view of frozen lake in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

As this story shows, donations can improve the infrastructure, health and beauty of our parks. And they also greatly improve the visitor experience.

Financial support from park users is a great way to supplement the ongoing maintenance performed by our hardworking staff.

Your donation can be made for a specific project or location. Ontario Parks will work with you to ensure your donation makes a difference in a project close to your heart.

To make a donation or learn more about how donations support the work in Ontario parks, click here.

And again, a “giant” thank you to our wonderful donors!