Photo from the Top of the Giant Trail

“Giant” generosity

Our favourite natural spaces can move us. Scenic views, outdoor adventures, and breathtaking experiences all hold a special place in our hearts and minds.

Recently, one generous donor was so moved by the Kabeyun Trail at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park that they made a $25,000 donation to improve the trail.

Talk about “giant” generosity!

Gateway to the Giant

The 37 km Kabeyun Trail is the backbone of the park’s extensive trail network, and the gateway to the tallest cliffs in Ontario.

Sleeping Giant: home to some of the province’s most magical views!

If you’ve ever hiked or cycled at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, then you know that while the route (the Top of the Giant Trail, accessed by the Kabeyun Trail) can be difficult, the experience is well worth it.

Simply built

When it was built, the first stretch of the trail was made very simply using materials found along the route like rocks, mud and sand, and included corduroyed sections where logs were placed perpendicular to the trail in wet areas. It was used as an access road to transport happy campers to Tee Harbour until the 1980s.

Hiking trail marker sign on tree in forest

While public use of motorized vehicles is no longer allowed on the trail, a few decades of use by delighted hikers and bikers left the trail in great need of a facelift.

Holy holes, hikers!

Regular trail maintenance takes care of fallen trees and overgrown brush.

More complicated improvements, like fixing the base layers of the trail, are a more complex undertaking and require considerably more resources than regular maintenance.

The Kabeyun Trail is well loved and well used. Inevitably, some serious potholes formed along wet parts of the trail.

View of trail with large puddle and mud

Some of the sunken muddy areas were 30 cm deep!

Hikers trying to avoid the wet areas were constantly widening the trail. Cyclists often had to dismount to make it through the soggy sunken mess.

View of trail showing widening of path and mud and water

Improvements ahead

Luckily for Kabeyun Trail users (and Ontario Parks!), a kind and caring donor noticed there was some room for improvement.

They got in touch with the park and offered an amazing $25,000 gift to fix the muddy mess along the first six kilometres of the trail.

Sunrise over lake at Sleeping Giant provincial park

Ontario Parks wants to send our donor (a long-time park visitor who asked to remain anonymous) a giant thank you!

Only a small portion of Ontario Parks’ budget comes from provincial taxes. Financial gifts like this one can make a huge difference to our parks!

Mission accomplished

A local company was hired to tackle the project. The donation was used to stabilize the trail, eliminate muddy sections, and establish a flatter, firmer tread-base for trail users to enjoy.

View of trail after it was stabilized and flattened

Work was completed this past November, just in time to beat the heavy snowfalls the Sibley Peninsula is known for!

Happy hikers and bikers

Though it hasn’t been long since the improvements were made, the positive comments started almost immediately.

One group of cyclists said they were able to ride this section of trail without dismounting for the first time in decades, now that those deep muddy holes are gone!

View of trail after improvements fixes mud and holes

Donations make a difference

Do you have a treasured Ontario Parks spot?

Consider making a donation — big or small — to help protect it!

Winter view across frozen lake at Sleeping Giant provincial park

As this story shows, donations can improve the infrastructure, health, and beauty of our parks. And they also greatly improve visitors’ experiences.

Financial support from park users is a great way to complement the ongoing maintenance done by our hard-working staff.

Your donation can be made for a specific project or location. Ontario Parks will work with you to ensure your donation makes a difference to a project close to your heart.

To make a donation or learn more about how donations support work at Ontario Parks, click here.

And again, a “giant” thank you to our wonderful donors!