Hiking the Sleeping Giant near Thunder Bay, Ontario
September 19th 2018
Camp at Lehtinen’s Bay
After getting off to a rather late start this morning, I stopped at the ‘Bay Village’ coffee shop to pick up some gear they offered to lend me. Naturally, I stayed for a nice ‘Bulletproof’ – and didn’t get on the road until after 11 am.
Luckily I just made it to the parking permit office 5min before they closed for lunch, got my paperwork in order and continued to the parking lot at the trailhead!
Around 12:15 I started on the trail towards ‘Sawyer Bay’, planning to climb the head of the giant on the first day.
‘Sawyer Bay Trail’ does frankly resemble a quad track more than a hiking trail, it’s also very easy to walk and should be ideal for groups as two or three people can walk beside each other and chat comfortably.
Where the trail reached ‘Sawyer Bay’ there are several, really nice campsites and fireplaces. Beautifully arranged right at the shore!
The trail continues as a clearly visible, and easy to follow, footpath, soon reaching the fork where the ‘Head Trail’ takes of up the hillside.
I followed it up to the top, and the view is totally worth the effort of climbing the trail. And, yes, partly it is more a climb than a hike, just take it slow and You’ll be good!
Once back at the fork I continued the ‘Kabeyun Trail’ along the shore of ‘Lake Superior. The trail is very easy to find and follow, mostly close to the water and with very few changes in elevation.
After leaving the western shoreline and starting the climb over the giant’s feet, the ground gets clearly rougher. First, just an uphill slope, later steeply downhill on the east side. Closer to ‘Lehtinen’s Bay’ the trail climbs over large rocks and progress slows down immensely!
Just a short way past the rocky area I found this beautiful camp between the trail and the shore, the view over the lake is truly amazing and I look forward to falling asleep to the sound of the waves hitting shore!
On the next morning, I got started around 9 am and headed for the Talus trail to get to the crossing that would take me to the top of the giant. This was a much more mellow hike than to the head, still partly steep, yet with beautiful steps built into the trail, making the steep parts so much easier.
I found it a little weird when finding the sign for the ‘top’ pretty much in the woods and not even near the highest point in the area.
Continuing further up the trail got me to the western cliffs and opened up a beautiful scenery!
The sky, that had been overcast already, grew darker the longer the day went towards noon and, also considering the fact that I didn´t find any water in the streams, I decided to head back to the car. Finally leaving the park just after 1 pm for the hour-long drive back to town!
I really enjoyed hiking the area and am rather happy to have left the ‘chest’ for a later occation, giving me an excuse to come back!
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Peace // Claes
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