A wilderness cross-country ski experience and your chance to own the podium in this Olympic year, are two reasons that you will want to visit Thunder Bay the first weekend in March and find why there is “snowbetterplace” than to be a part of the 38th annual Sleeping Giant Loppet.
The Sleeping Giant Loppet takes place Saturday March 1, 2014 in the serene wilderness of the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park on the groom trails prepared by the Thunder Bay Nordic Trails Association. So register now to participate in one of Northwestern Ontario’s most loved winter events; and get a photo on the podium with your family, team or training partners.
Whether you are an avid cross-country skier or just looking for a taste of Nordic culture, you will want to come to Thunder Bay and be part of this popular mass participation ski festival. This year could be the year that Loppet breaks the 1000entry mark with skiers expected from Manitoba, Wisconsin, Minnesota and communities across Northwestern Ontario.
The Sleeping Giant Loppet offers multiple events of different distances for skiers of all levels and abilities. The network of trails groomed and maintained by the Thunder Bay Nordic Trails Association are sure to provide a great experience for ski-loving families and ambitious ski athletes alike.
The 8km Mini-Loppet offers a shorter route and is perfect for families with children and beginners; however, if you’re ready to increase your distance or work on your skills and speed, then the rolling 20km Marie Louise Lake loop is for you. There is also the popular 35km Tour, a relaxed event that takes in the scenic vistas and killer climbs of the storied Burma Trail.
The ultimate challenge at this year’s Sleeping Giant Loppet is the Loppet’s flagship events, the 50K Classic or the 50KFree Skate distance. The 50km is perfect for elite skiers contending for one of the Loppet’s generous prize packages or citizen racers looking to achieve a personal best time.
Bus service is offered to the start and finish for the Sleeping Giant Loppet at the Marie Louise Lake campground, located in ark on the Sibley Peninsula about a 30-45-minute drive east of Thunder Bay. Bus service will be available from the Nor’wester Best Western Hotel and Days Inn on Sibley Drive with a pick up stop on the Confederation College campus near the Days Inn. Take advantage of free parking at all three pickup points. Skiers are also welcome to drive to the race site (carpooling is encouraged).
The Loppet, known for many years as the Sibley Ski Tour, provides a full weekend of activities to take in the great Northern Ontario outdoors and enjoy Thunder Bay’s Nordic culture. The main ski event is on Saturday March the 7th.
You can register online for the 2015 Loppet.
Looking for accommodations for the Loppett weekend, here are a number of easy online options including the Days Inn on Sibley Drive, one of the stops for bus shuttle service.
The Nor’Wester Best Western is a perfect place to stay if you want to take in the Awards Brunch on Sunday March the 2nd or get in an extra day of skiing at the Kamview Nordic Centre – Kamview is less than a 10-minute drive away.
The Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel and Suites places you in the heart of the Waterfront District with easy access to the new waterfront development at Prince Arthur’s Landing. Be sure to bring your skates along with your skis and check out the new outdoor artificial ice rink next to the new Water Pavilion.
Other hotel options include the Valhalla Inn, Victoria Inn, Airlane Travelodge and the Comfort Inn near the airport. Check out Visit Thunder Bay for more hotel, restaurant, event, and tourist attraction options for your visit to Thunder Bay for the Sleeping Giant Loppet!
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