Canadians voted the Sleeping Giant, also known as Sibley Peninsula, east of Thunder Bay, Ont. as the top pick for the country’s seven wonders back in 2014. And, fortunately for runners, there’s good reason.
The 244-square-kilometre park, located on Lake Superior, has more than 100 kilometres of running and hiking trails to choose from. The challenging terrain serves as ideal grounds for trail runners and those looking to go off-road. Recently, Sault Ste. Marie-born runner Brady Dunne went on a 22K run and captured incredible footage from a quadcopter.
“A run to the top of the Sleeping Giant in Thunder Bay, Ont,” reads the YouTube description. “We went up the old route called the Chimney but apparently it is closed now. We ran down the new trail which is amazing. Incredible views from both sides. The best run/hike or adventure in Thunder Bay.”
According to Dunne, it was his first trip back to the Sleeping Giant since 2003 as he now lives in Vancouver. He recorded the entire run on Strava, which included 242m of elevation gain in the ninth kilometre of the August run. That stretch took him more than 17 minutes as he ascended the steepest part of the Sleeping Giant. The tabletop formation is located within Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.
Overall, he averaged 6:13 per kilometre and was out on the trails for nearly two-and-a-half hours.
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From far, the Sleeping Giant resembles a giant lying on their back. The landmark’s steep cliffs are among the highest in Ontario. Dunne reached the steep walls approximately 10K into his run.
The Ontario Parks website lists a number of possible trail routes for runners of all abilities. Some are as short as 6K while the longest predetermined route is Kabeyun Trail at 40K. Here are some essentials to consider when packing for a backcountry adventure as recommended by Canadian trail runner Gary Robbins.
Thinking of going on an off-road adventure? Check out Canadian Running‘s 2016 trail shoe guide for light and tough footwear.