In today’s post, Discovery leader Rachelle Law answers a common question: “How do I get to the top of Sleeping Giant?”
Climbing the Sleeping Giant and some of the highest cliffs in Ontario can be challenging, but the experience and views are the ultimate reward.
One of the most frequently asked questions at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park is: “How do I get to the top of the Giant?”
Most are surprised to hear that the three different hiking routes up the Sleeping Giant are long and difficult. But there is no reason to be discouraged, since getting to the Giant is also possible, in part, by bicycle.
Bicycles are allowed for most of the trail, but once you reach the base of the Giant, the trail becomes steep and bicycles are not allowed. From there, it’s up to your feet to do the rest!
Those who reach the top of the Giant will be rewarded with stunning views. Cycling to the base of the Giant can be an effective way to save time and energy!
Here you will find important information about biking our trails and trip planning tips:
The three paths of the Giant
Each trail offers unique and incredible views. The fun part: you get to choose your own adventure!
Each trail begins at the South Kabeyun Trailhead, which is a five-minute drive past the Marie Louise Lake Campground on Highway ON-587.
Day use permits are required and can be purchased in advance, at the self-service pay stations in the Joe Boy Lake parking lot at the north end of Highway ON-587, at the Marie Louise Lake Campground entrance gate, and at the park office.
Nanabosho Viewing Trail
Length: 17 km round trip from South Kabeyun Trailhead to the end of Nanabosho Lookout Trail and back
This trail climbs the chest of the Sleeping Giant and leads to an extraordinary viewpoint overlooking the entire Sibley Peninsula.
From this beautiful overlook, adventurous hikers are rewarded with views of Lake Marie Louise Campground, Sawyer Bay, Hoorigan Bay, Clavet Bay, and Porphyry Island Provincial Park.
Some of the most impressive views of the province can be enjoyed from the Nanabosho Viewpoint.
Parts of the trail that are passable by bicycle: 11.8 km (round trip) from South Kabeyun Trailhead and first 5.5 km of Sawyer Bay Trail
Parts of the trail where bicycles are not allowed and must be walked: 5.2 km (round trip) on the Talus Lake trail and the hike to the Giant on the Nanabosho Lookout Trail
Length: 16.2 km round trip from South Kabeyun Trailhead to the top of Head and back
The steepest trail in the park climbs to the top of the Sleeping Giant’s Head.
The overlook at the end of the trail offers stunning views of Lake Superior, the Giant’s Cliffs, and the forest below.
Parts of the trail that are passable by bicycle: 12.2 km (round trip) from South Kabeyun Trailhead to 5.7 km from Sawyer Bay Trail.
Parts of the trail where bicycles are not allowed and must be walked: 4 km (round trip) to the 0.6 km Kabeyun Trail section connecting from Sawyer Bay Trail and the 1.4 km hike to Giant on Head Trail.
Top of the giant trail
Length: 21.8 km round trip from South Kabeyun Trailhead to the top of Top of the Giant Trail and back
The park’s most popular hiking and biking trail is the Top of the Giant Trail.
This challenging trail takes you to the top of some of the highest cliffs in Ontario and provides access to some of the most beautiful viewpoints in the province.
Spectacular views of the east and west coast of the Sibley Peninsula reveal themselves to determined hikers who venture here.
Parts of the trail that are passable by bicycle: 13.4 km (round trip) Kabeyun Trail to junction with Talus Lake Trail
Parts of the trail where bicycles are not allowed and must be walked: 8.4 km (round trip) Talus Lake Trail and hike the Giant on the Top of the Giant Trail
Where can I store my bike at the base of the Giant before starting my summit?
Bike racks are available before climbing to the top of the giant trail.
Top of the Giant Trail has some handy bike racks located right at the junction of Kabeyun and Talus Lake Trail, making it convenient to store and lock your bike.
Both Head Trail and Nanabosho Lookout Trail do not have bike racks, but visitors can gently lock their bike to a nearby tree once the trail is no longer bike-friendly and walking is necessary.
What are the trail conditions for biking??
The terrain is fairly easy on the three trails to the base of the Giant, with the exception of some minor climbs and descents.
The trails have a mix of dirt, rocks and shale. Reducing your speed in tight curves and steep areas can help prevent falls in rocky areas. Depending on weather conditions and cycling experience, some rocky sections may require cycling up and down slopes.
Visitors are encouraged to use caution when biking on these trails and to be considerate and aware of other trail users. Remember to use a bell or call “on your left” to announce that you are passing another trail user.
How to prepare for your bike trip to the Giant:
Make sure your bike is safe before your trip by testing and maintaining it.
Enjoy the trip!
The forested canopy and crashing waves of Lake Superior offer relaxing scenery as you bike Sleeping Giant’s beautiful backcountry trails.
Your Sleeping Giant bike and hike adventure is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience you won’t forget!
Ready to cross this adventure off your bucket list?
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park is a 1.25-hour drive from Thunder Bay.