Discover Paul Bunyan, the Larger-Than-Life Lumberjack, in Minnesota
By Caitlin Hannah
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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.
Located in northwest Minnesota, this statue invites visitors to 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.
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.
Since 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.
Paul Bunyan is also found at the Brainerd Lakes Chamber Welcome Center. Stop by and snap your photo and learn more about what you can see in the area.
Minnesota 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.
Caitlin Hannah is Explore Minnesota's social media strategist and resident Disney expert. She grew up spending summer weekends at her family's lake cabin in Detroit Lakes, and brings that "up north" attitude to everything she does. When traveling around the state, she likes trying new restaurants and taprooms, or watching Minnesota hockey.
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