Day 35 – Oh the nature

It was lazy today.

Sleeping Giant has a lot of trails. I hear they are amazing. Last year we didn’t have enough time to do anything more than the pretty Lion’s Head trail out to the famous rock formation, so this year I specifically booked us an extra day at Sleeping Giant so that Alexe and I could do some serious hiking. But I opened the park booklet late last night to ponder what we should attempt today, and I read words like ‘challenging’ and ‘sheer cliff’ and ‘bring extra water’ and I just didn’t want to. So Alexe and I instead drove past the jam-packed-full parking lot for the prestigious Kabeyun and Giant’s Head trailheads, and headed down the back of the 587 loop that leads onto the Avenue in Silver Islet. The parking lot for the Middlebrun & Finlay Bay trailhead was empty at 11:30am — perfect. The park guide calls this an ‘easy hike to a secluded sandy beach’ through a wetland. Obviously more our speed on this blisteringly hot day. And it was lovely. After only two kilometres through shady forest, the trail spits you out at one end of the glorious Middlebrun Bay, and the sandy beach that stretches for almost a kilometre. The trail continues down the beach to the other end, and heads into some storm damaged bush, with chainsawed ends of fallen trees lining the path.

Finlay Bay was rocky, with those neat shallow pools the waves rush over in little eddies and spit up through the cracks. We lazed there for hours, skinny dipping, becoming sunburnt, toes tucked into the little pools to cool us down. We swam again passing back through Middlebrun — I was so heatsoaked I just sat in the cold water up to my neck to cool down. The beach is beautiful, and only a 20-minute walk through the brush. By that time, more people had arrived with kids and dogs and picnics. We were starting to get hungry, so we headed out to explore Silver Islet at the end of the road.

Last year both Alexe and I had really liked Silver Islet, but hadn’t gotten a chance to really look around. We finished the loop from the trailhead, and headed down the ‘Avenue,’ the one-way road that separates old miner’s houses and clapboard summer cottages from the sandy beach. The houses butt up against a rocky cliff, and as the community is off the grid, feature solar panels and generators. The population of Silver Islet is about 650 in the summer; 7 in the winter. It’s my kind of town.

We drove slowly down the street to soak in the local colour, then stopped at the General Store for a visit with the Saxbergs and a couple of warm homemade cinnamon buns.

Tomorrow — more Silver Islet! And then off to eat Finnish pancakes at the Hoito in Thunder Bay.

Photo by Alexandra Sawicki



  1. Nice you’re back. I was missing my morning blog fix. It all sounds so lovely and the descriptions make me feel i’m there. Keep up the good work!

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