Paul Bunyan Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Cass County, Hubbard County, and Crow Wing County, Minnesota. It is within Chippewa National Forest. It is 73.0 miles long and begins at 1,338 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 143.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,287 feet. Trailhead Parking and other parkings can be seen along the trail. There are also a shelter, restroom, and parkings along the trail.
Paul Bunyan Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"Paul Bunyan State Trail, stretching 123 miles from Bemidji to Brainerd, is one of the longest rail-trails in the country. This distance includes its newest segment, completed in 2014, that extended the trail 9 miles south on MN 371 to Crow Wing State Park. The multiuse, fully paved trail is mainly for non motorized use; however, snowmobiles are permitted during winter.
The Paul Bunyan State Trail follows an inactive railroad corridor built in 1893 and last owned by Burlington Northern. The corridor passes through boreal forests, along more than 20 lakes and 10 rivers/streams, and among meadows sporting colorful wildflowers in spring. You’ll also encounter wildlife along the way."
--Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Rail-Trails Minnesota (Wilderness Press).
"Just imagine riding in an area sometimes referred to as Paul Bunyan’s Playground. Legend has it that Paul and his blue ox, Babe (mythical figures created to market lumber in the early 1900s), were having fun, wrestling around after a long rain spell. Tromping and stomping, the two made a lot of large holes that eventually filled with water to create the 464 lakes of the Brainerd Lakes Area. This ride offers lakefront scenery as you meander over quiet country roads through the land of sky blue water. Add the Paul Bunyan bike trail, which stretches across and intersects at several points on this classic, and your mileage options are endless at this quintessential tourist destination."
--M. Russ Lowthian, Road Biking Minnesota (Falcon Guides).
"Nestled among aspens, maples, and oaks, and featuring stunning views of several of Minnesota’s many lakes, is the 119-mile Paul Bunyan State Trail (PBST). This paved route immerses you in the quiet beauty of the north- central woodland region of the state while passing through welcoming small towns that cater to trail users by offering numerous amenities, including shuttle services."
--Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Rail-Trail Hall of Fame (Wilderness Press).
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