Climbing to the top of Sleeping Giant Provincial park has been on my mind since I booked this vacation. It’s a long hike, 22 kms and I knew I was in shape for it. Still, until you actually hit the trails you don’t really know what to expect.
We left early because the hike can take up to 8 hours. I had a lot of energy at the beginning super excited to get to the top. (we were heading to the ‘Knees’ high point). The bugs were bad but my end goal was keeping me upbeat and positive. The first 6.5 is through forest, along the Lake Superior shoreline, with trail surface ranging from packed dirt to granite rubble to mud and big puddles.The next section was giant granite boulders. I was thankful for all my Pilates and strength training to climb, hop, split your legs and arms in all ranges of motion! We were at 8 kms when I realized we hadn’t done the steep climb we were expecting. Finally at 9.5 kms,I saw the steep stairs so I knew we were close. We got to the top of the stairs and ended up in a forest, seeing a sign for something entirely different than the Knees high point! It seems like we had past the knees and were at the feet. I was not sure where to get to the knees from where we were but I saw a male adult deer walking towards us on the trail. He ran in the other direction. We kept walking and then saw a female and young deer. We were walking towards it and it was looking at us, walking towards us. I said, ‘we’re trying to get to the top, please move or let us pass.’ They eventually ran in the other direction and I realized we weren’t anywhere near the knees and had to turn around to make the long trek back.
Instead of the reward of a beautiful view, we had to go back down the 11km with no sense of satisfaction. I tried to remember it’s not about the end but the journey. The journey gave us beautiful wild flowers, bird songs, fresh pine scents and no other humans until the last 5 kms. If you like peace and isolation, Lake Superior region is the place to be.
I don’t have any pictures of beautiful views but I do appreciate the fact that my body can keep going through tough terrain for 6 hours! Sometimes you don’t get what you came for, but you leave with new discoveries.

A sample of one of the easier granite boulders that we climbed.

The peak we never saw.

The hike. At the half way point we didn’t make a right turn. I misread the sign. Sigh.

Going back down. Thankful that none of my slips and trips didn’t end up with me falling down!