A group of friends make an 1200′ accent up to the head of the Sleeping Giant an accessible adventure. Taking Jazzy by sailboat, dinghy and stretcher to the top of the Giant. Watch how they do it.
Carrying Jazzy Up the Sleeping Giant
Hiking with Jazzy to the head of the Giant was an absolute adventure, filled with laughter and determination. The day started out as a calm sunny morning at the Thunder Bay Waterfront. Once everyone boarded Sail Superior’s sailboat Frodo, we set aim for Sawyer Bay. With the sails full, the passengers roamed the boat and took in the iconic view of the Sleeping Giant. Impressing everyone with the sight of it’s 1000 foot cliff towering over the shoreline.
After anchoring in Sawyer Bay, we made two trips with the passengers to the rocky beach along the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park trail. Jazzy made his way, by wheel chair, to the start of the almost vertical Head Trail. From there, his friends helped him into the military stretcher and up they went. The Head trail can be tricky on the nicest days. With stretches of narrow path along unstable ground.
At last we made it to the top! The view was spectacular and hikers were excited to have completed another rewarding hiking trip with their friend Jazzy. It was hard to leave the Head of the Giant. If it wasn’t for the beef on a bun waiting for us at the bottom, we could have stayed at the top all day.
As if the day wasn’t good enough, on our sail back to the harbour we witnessed the rise of the harvest moon over the stomach of the Sleeping Giant. With the moon rising in the east and the city lights to the west, I think we all felt a sense of satisfaction and joy. A perfect day completed.Places to Stay in Thunder Bay, OntarioFebruary 24, 2018
Places to Stay in Thunder Bay, Ontario
By Sail Superior
A vibrant city with rich culture and history. Thunder Bay, Ontario has lots to offer visitors. There are many great choices when it comes to places to stay in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Almost too many, that’s why we have made a list of places to stay in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The list is organized by location and amenities have also been listed.
The downtown area is near the waterfront of Prince Arthurs Landing Marina on Lake Superior. The airport area is on the south side of the city. Further south of the airport by approximately 10 minutes is the Nor’Wester Mountain Area. In the centre of the city, you will find the hospital, university, and Canada Games Complex, all a short distance from downtown.
Accommodations are listed in alphabetical order and by location.
|Sauna, Pool, Hot Tub, Fitness Centre, Business Centre, Restaurant, Free Airport Shuttle, Pet-Friendly, WiFi||698 W Arthur St
Best Western Crossroads Hotel
|Free Breakfast, Fitness Centre, Free Airport Shuttle, Pet-Friendly, WiFi||655 W Arthur St
|Free Breakfast, Free Business Centre, Free Unlimited Long Distance Calling, WiFi||660 W Arthur St
|Pool, Fitness Centre, Business Centre, Free Breakfast, WiFi||760 W Arthur St
|Sauna, Pool, Hot Tub, Fitness Centre, 2 Restaurants, Pet-Friendly, WiFi||1 Valhalla Inn Rd
|Sauna, Pool, Water Slide, Hot Tub, Fitness Centre, Restaurant, Pet-Friendly, WiFi||555 W Arthur St
Downtown / Marina Location
Prince Arthur Hotel
|Pool, Free Airport Shuttle, Restaurant, Pet-Friendly, WiFi||17 N Cumberland St
Regional Hospital Location
Days Inn North Hotel
|Fitness Centre, Free Breakfast, WiFi||1250 Golf Links Rd
Nor’ Wester Mountain Location
Best Western Nor’Wester Hotel
|Sauna, Pool, Hot Tub, Fitness Centre, Business Centre, Restaurant, Pet-Friendly, WiFi||2080 Hwy 61
Central Thunder Bay Area
|Sauna, Pool, Hot Tub, Fitness Centre, Free Breakfast, WiFi||645 Sibley Dr
Holiday Inn Express
|Pool, Hot Tub, Fitness Centre, Free Breakfast, Pet-Friendly, WiFi||1041 Carrick St
|Pool, Fitness Centre, Free Breakfast, Pet-Friendly, WiFi||550 Harbour Expressway
|Free Breakfast, Pet-Friendly, WiFi||439 Memorial Ave
|Pool, Fitness Centre, Free Breakfast, Pet-Friendly, Wifi||450 Memorial Ave
North of Town
|Sauna, Pool, Hot Tub, Water Slide, Free Breakfast, Pet-Friendly, Restaurant, WiFi||1010 Dawson Rd
Thunder Bay Inn
|Free Breakfast, WiFi||1460 Dawson Rd
Thunder Bay Backpackers Inn
| 139 Machar Ave
Thunder Bay International Hostel
| 1594 Lakeshore Dr
Find out why Lake Superior is one of the most special places on earth.
When I was very young, growing up in Thunder Bay, my dad took me down to the waterfront one day. We looked at all the boats. I vividly remember a sign that pointed out to the water showing distances to places. The sign listed places like Toronto, Montréal, Québec City, and the Atlantic Ocean. I was 8, so those places seemed exotic. A few years later my father bought our first sailboat. It was a 23′ fiberglass boat that would take me for the next 15 years all around Lake Superior.
In 2004, after sailing from Thunder Bay to the Mediterranean and back via the Caribbean, I realized that Lake Superior is one of the most exotic and special places on the planet. In fact, it is so special that in 2007, the northwest shore of Lake Superior was the first area in Canada to be designated as a National Marine Conservation Area. It is now the largest freshwater marine protected area in the world.
The Allure of Big Water Sailing: Extreme Adventure and Self Discovery
No matter where you are sailing, you’ll experience lots of adventure and self-discovery.
In 2004 I sailed From Thunder Bay to the Mediterranean and back via the Caribbean. Many ask what the allure of big water sailing is. I will quote you a passage I wrote on that trip. The images and sensory feelings are still with me almost 8 years later.
“With a trip so far of over 5,000 miles, there have been some very remarkable events. Two which will forever be etched upon my soul, the North Atlantic gale which we sailed through four days into the crossing, and the day before yesterday.
The gale brought fear and loathing, fatigue and humility, but taught ingenuity, resource and showed the limits of the mind and body.
The day before yesterday, the entrance into the Med, also brought with it a feeling of insignificance and awe. The small straight of Gibraltar, about the width of Thunder Bay to the Sleeping Giant and about the same length, delivered all the force of the North Atlantic gale, but with a majestic and tempered hand.
Into the Straights we sailed with a light following sea, a gentle breeze, a haze covered the straight to the south, where we knew Africa should be. Dark clouds confirmed that cumulus was building from the hot African continent.
When the features began to appear, I was moved by the high mountains, somehow the image of flat sand and desert had been my expectation.
The high clouds were forced up over the ridges and funneled into the straight, blown by the Westerlies. Across on the European side, the land matched – easy to imagine that they were once joined. The winds here were also funneled up into the hills and down into the straight.
Hundreds of wind turbines lined the hills to take advantage of Spain’s windiest shore. The sun was setting behind us, and the forces of nature came together to put on a show to stop all others.
The darkness started from the south, as the cumulus overtook us, sunshine behind, blackness overhead and to the north a rainbow. A rainbow that stretched from clear across the straight, from mountaintop to mountaintop, from Europe to Africa.
The waters ahead and to the south changed, there were white spots and spray, but no waves. The sea had been flattened. Squalls, sails down now. We made it, the wind blasted over us picking up water and spray as it crossed our path.
Then from behind it appeared, a black whirling wisp, high and small, it changed and I knew what it was. Harnesses on, hatches closed sails tied extra lines and ropes stowed, with no sails up and the engine on we could try to outrun the waterspout that was bearing down and building about a mile behind us.
It grew in size and strength and lasted 10 minutes or more sucking water as it snaked towards us. We were spared the wrath of this phenomena, however, torrential rain dumped on us momentarily as the spout disappeared, a parting gift. As fast as the dangers arrived they left. Leaving in its wake a sunset as brilliant with reds, oranges and purple as one can imagine. The mountains faced us, the winds calmed and the harbour lighthouse of Tarifa welcomed us.
The gale in the Atlantic was as forceful but it didn’t stop. There was no safe haven a few miles away. It took you and held you, it lasted all night, it was black and it was noisy. The sea angry and confused. You might set up a way to manage the waves and then the sea would toss a few rogues at you, one filled the cockpit and tore off the dodger. One just spun us around to face the sea from the other side.
The gale left the feeling of dread and exhaustion, the Med was awe-inspiring and left you energized.”
I now sail on Lake Superior, where I started sailing almost 40 years ago. I balance my time between sailing with my family and operating a sailing charter business, Sail Superior, in Thunder Bay.Best Things to Do in Thunder BayApril 21, 2017
Best Things to Do in Thunder Bay, Ontario
Thunder Bay provides a dream playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Surrounded by water and mountains, Thunder Bay has something to meet every adventurer’s desires. Here are some of the Best Things to do in Thunder Bay.
Don’t forget to experience the greatest freshwater lake in the world. Sail Superior specializes in various sailboat excursions that will satisfy your craving for fun, excitement, adventure, romance or relaxation. Observe the brilliant night sky on a Starlight Wine and Cheese tour, new this year.
- Tours run mid-May – October.
- Adult prices start at $59/person
- Duration of tours range from 1.5 hours – multiple days
Check out the rest of our Tours
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
Looking to stretch your legs while experiencing the beautiful Canadian wilderness at the same time? With over 100 KM of hiking trails, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park is the ideal place to take it all in. If hiking isn’t your thing they also offer camping, biking, canoeing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
- Open 365 days / year
- Overnight camping runs May 19 – October 10
- Take a sailboat to the park
- 100 Kilometers of hiking trails
- 50 Kilometers of groomed cross-country trails
- Variety of hikes ranging from day hikes to multi-day hikes
- Stunning views at the top of the mountain
For more information visit Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
Fort William Historical Park
Photo via Fort William Historical Park
Fur trading was a major industry in North America’s past. Fort William Historical Park re-creates the days of the North West Company and the Canadian fur trade. After experiencing one of the largest living history attractions in North America, visit their state-of-the-art Astronomy Centre.
- Open 365 days / year
- Tour a living history attraction
- State-of-the-art Astronomy Observatory
- Prices at peak season (Summer)
- Tour $14 / Adult
- Observatory $10 / Adult
- $25/night without services
- $35/night with services
- Canoe / Kayak rental
- $15 half day
- $30 full day
- Hours vary according to season
For more information visit Fort William Historical Park
Thunder Bay Lookout
Photo via Good Free Photos
Scared of heights? Put your mettle to the test at the Thunder Bay Lookout. Located on a cliff edge of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, the Lookout combines thrill and an amazing view of Lake Superior.
For more information visit Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
Towering 1000 feet above Thunder Bay, Mount McKay has a great view of the city. If hiking to the top doesn’t suit your need, the parking lot lookout is 500 feet above the ground and provides a nice view as well.
- Operates mid-May – early October
- Open from 9 am – 10 pm
- Call (807) 622-3093
Outdoor Skills and Thrills
Professional guided rock and ice climbing adventures. Experience the best climbing Northwestern Ontario has to offer.
For more information visit Outdoor Skills and Thrills
Challenge your family, friends, and colleagues to a friendly game of paintball. It’s a great way to bond and relieve stress. Nestled into the base of Mount McKay is Paintball Mountain. They provide everything you need to get your adrenaline pumping.
- Operates 365 days/year
- Open from sunrise – sunset
- Reservation required Monday – Saturday
- Reservation not required on Sunday
- Prices start at $35.40 / person
For more information visit Paintball Mountain
Thunder Oak Cheese Farm
Thunder Oak Cheese Farm is the first farm in Ontario that produces Gouda cheese. Their award-winning Thunder Oak Gouda is a natural product made with fresh milk from their own Holstein cows. Take a short trip to Slate River Valley to experience the tradition of Dutch cheese making.
- Open from 9 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday
For more information visit Thunder Oak Cheese Farm
Itching for more hikes? Here is a list of some of the most popular Thunder Bay hiking trails.
- High Falls
- Poplar Point Trail
- Cascades Trails