This is the first in a series of articles about day trips for seniors near Thunder Bay, Ontario where Joan and I live. If you are a senior citizen who lives near Thunder Bay, and have access to an automobile read about this local road trip.
A Day Trip for Seniors to Sleeping Giant Provincial Park on Sibley Peninsula.
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park is a great day trip for seniors because it is only a little over an hour drive (85 km) from Thunder Bay along the divided highway.
Before you visit please check what facilities/activities are available as things keep evolving during this pandemic. The icons at the bottom of the web page show what is open.
You must take everything that you need (e.g. water bottle, snacks (light lunch), hand sanitizer, medications, sunscreen, bug spray, etc.) with you as their are no stores in the park.
If you were thinking of picking up something at Karen’s Kountry Kitchen, on the way in, please note that it is closed for the 2020 summer season. I hope you’re wearing sturdy shoes because you will certainly want to take advantage of the hiking possibilities.
Make the Drive Out an Adventurous Part of a Local Trip for Seniors
Consider driving out the old highway #17, now Lakeshore Drive, to the park. The road is quieter, and definitely more of an interesting local road trip for seniors. There are a number of places of interest along the way. Make sure to include Bears Bees & Honey as a brief stop. If you want honey or the educational experience of a lifetime stop in there for a visit.
If you’re an early riser, consider pausing at the Lakeshore Bistro, formerly the Crystal Beach Restaurant, for breakfast on your way to the park.
On your way home from the park, consider stopping at The Fish Shop which is along the Lakeshore Drive path. You may have seen them at the Thunder Bay Country Market. Pick up some fresh or smoked fish for your evening meal. Note: It looks like they may not have opened for the season. Mail sent bounced back as no such address. ;>(
Once you do get to visit the park, you must continue to follow public health advice This includes physical distancing by keeping at least two metres from others, wearing a face covering when physical distancing may be challenging or not possible, washing hands regularly with soap and water. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
As of July 4, 2020 here is what is open now:
Although many facilities are available, I will list only those applicable to a day trip for seniors.
- most washrooms facilities
- day use areas
- beaches, as maintenance and water testing are completed
- drinking water
- off-leash pet areas
- some rentals
Here is what is not available yet:
- playgrounds/sports fields
- visitor centre
For this season, picnic shelter rentals will not be available.
Daily Vehicle Permit ( includes one person) $1.75 to $2.00 per additional person
Regular Vehicle $12.25 – $21.00
Ontario Senior’s Vehicle (65+) $9.75 – $16.75
What You’ll Like at the Park
There are breathtaking views of Lake Superior and the surrounding area are available from the Top of the Giant Trail and at Thunder Bay Lookout. Enjoy over 100 km of incredible hiking trails with many spectacular geological features such as the ‘Sea Lion’ pictured to the left and Tee Harbour.
The wildlife viewing in the park’s boreal forest is excellent. If you are lucky at all, you may chance upon deer, wolf, fox, lynx or any of over the 200 species of birds that frequent the park.
What You may not Like
Because the province is working to keep the park pristine and natural, there are limited facilities for waste disposal. So keep in mind that what you bring in, you must bring out. So be prepared.