Joe Creek Trail

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Ontario

Trip Date: Saturday, July 1st, 2017
Last Updated: Monday, August 14th, 2017
By Ricky Holzer

Hike Information

Rating ★★★☆☆(3/5)
Overall Difficulty Easy
Navigation Difficulty     Easy
Distance 0.9 miles roundtrip
Time 30 minutes
Terrain Mostly flat
Best Seasons Spring, Summer, Fall
Family Friendly No
Dog Friendly Yes
Accessible No


Hike Summary

If you already have an annual or summer parks pass (again, this pass must be from Ontario Parks, not a national parks pass), this is a great warmup hike and I recommend you do it on the way in. Otherwise, given the relatively long drive from the campsite to this trailhead or that you must double back from the day use area where you can pay the vehicle fee, this hike is best completed on your way out of the park.

I was here on a busy holiday weekend -- Canada Day (and it was Canada's 150th birthday this year) and 4th of July -- and saw two other people on this hike. Dogs are allowed on leash. I suspect that children would enjoy this hike more than I did since there are plenty of opportunities to play in the creek near the waterfall pictured above. Bug spray is essential for this hike and any other hike in the park. The many lakes and frequent rain makes this the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, and black flies and ticks are also prevalent.

The trail is easy to find from the parking area thanks to the hot pink poles indicating the trail name and distance (in kilometers) placed by the Friends of Sleeping Giant organization. You can find these helpful poles on trails throughout the park and they will be essential to navigation on other hikes. At under a mile roundtrip, this hike will feel very short, and soon you will see the waterfall pictured above on the left. This waterfall is the highlight of this hike, and I would have sat here longer if I wasn't being eaten by bugs. Continue on the trail to Sibley Bay.

The end of the hike is rather anticlimactic; the shoreline of Sibley Bay is overgrown and it is difficult to find a route to reach the shore, let alone find a place to sit and enjoy the view. When you finish here, head back the way you came. Enjoy the gentle sound of the creek and linger by the waterfall once more on the return trip!

Looking at Sibley Bay

Looking at Sibley Bay
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From Thunder Bay, follow the Trans-Canada Highway (Ontario Highway 11/17) east; if you are coming from Minnesota, Minnesota Highway 61 turns into Ontario Highway 61 once you cross the Canadian border, and this highway turns into the Trans-Canada Highway. After about half an hour, turn right onto Ontario Highway 587 (Pass Lake Road); this highway is the main road through the park, and once inside the park, there will be brown signs indicating turnoffs for trailheads and other points of interest. You must first pay the vehicle fee before parking at this trailhead, so drive past the turnoff for Joe Creek, then turn right at the day use area (there will be a $ symbol on the sign indicating you can pay here). Once you've paid, head north on 587 until you see the turnoff for Joe Creek on the right.

Google Maps Directions

Parking, Fees, and Facilities

It is important to note that this is a provincial park and does not belong to the Canadian National Parks System, thus any national parks pass you may have is not valid admission here. Parking in Ontario Parks requires a $11.25 (Canadian) vehicle fee for day use, $175 (Canadian) for an annual pass, or $125 (Canadian) for a summer pass (valid April to November). This fee is included with a camping reservation. The parking area for this hike is a little dirt lot off the main road through the park and has no facilities.

Nearby Hikes

You will likely have the glassy waters of this gorgeous lake all to yourself
Thunder Bay Lookout and Bogs Trail
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Ontario
Looking at the creek from the bridge on Plantain Lane
Plantain Lane
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Ontario
The Chimney on the Top of the Giant: the most iconic view in the entire park
Top of the Giant Trail
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Ontario
Fog hovering above the water in Sawyer Bay
Sawyer Bay Trail
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Ontario

External Links