Discover Paul Bunyan, the Larger-than-Life Lumberjack, in Minnesota

By Caitlin Rick

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox Bemidji

Legend has it that Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes were created by Paul Bunyan’s footprints filling with water as he explored the state. Since then, it has become a rite of passage for Minnesotans and visitors alike to snap their photo with the iconic lumberjack. Discover his most popular likenesses across the state and take your picture with the legend himself.

Akeley

Paul Bunyan in Akeley Located in northwest Minnesota, visitors can crawl into the palm of Paul’s hand to snap a photo. While you're there, visit the nearby Paul Bunyan Historical Museum to see pictures and artifacts from the community. The giant statue of Paul was unveiled in 1985 during Akeley’s annual Paul Bunyan Days.

Bemidji 

Paul Bunyan and his best friend Babe the Blue Ox made their debut in Bemidji during the winter carnival in 1937 and became an instant sensation. At 18 feet fall, the burly lumberjack stands beside the shores of Lake Bemidji for a picturesque backdrop. In 1939, a 10-foot statue of Babe the Blue Ox was built to stand by his side.

Stop into the Visitor Center near the statues to see his giant-sized flannel shirt, telephone, wallet and toothbrush.

Brainerd

s15 Paul Bunyan Central Brainerd squareSince 1954, Paul has been saying hello and answering questions from travelers in Brainerd. In 2002, he moved from the Paul Bunyan Amusement Center to Paul Bunyan Land. Located on 23 acres, this family-friendly park features 40 rides and attractions, a petting barn, and the Pioneer Village.

The Pioneer Village is home to more than 40 buildings filled with antiques from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. You will also find his trusty sidekick, Babe the Blue Ox, standing tall outside the entrance to the park.

Other locations

Paul Bunyan at A-Pine RestaurantMinnesota has a lot of love and pride for Paul Bunyan. Other nods to him include his boat anchor in Ortonville, a trophy walleye that weighs in at a whopping 1,199 pounds in Rush Lake and his gravestone in Kelliher. You can snap a photo with Lucette, his girlfriend, in Hackensack on the shores of Birch Lake.

Travelers that are looking for a little adventure can take a ride on the Log Chute at Nickelodeon Universe inside Mall of America to see Paul, Babe, and a plate full of flapjacks. If you're traveling along the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway, take a break and snap a photo with the iconic lumberjack outside the A-Pine Restaurant in Pequot Lakes.

Share your photos with Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox on social media using #OnlyinMN. Discover more quirky Minnesota roadside attractions with this guide.