Welcome to the Whitefish Chain, Paul Bunyan’s storied homeplace! Around the Whitefish Chain you’ll find evidence of Paul left and right, and as you cruise around the scenic roads surrounding the lakes, you can see it in all its larger-than-life glory.
Paul Bunyan is the tall subject of a tall tale! Lore tells of Paul, a giant of a man who stood so tall he was above the trees. Paul was a lumberjack, frequently seen in long pants held up by suspenders over a plaid flannel shirt. Rumor has it Paul could take down thirty trees with a single swipe of his massive axe. And then, his companion Babe the Blue Ox would help haul the logs away. Babe, too, was a giant in her own right. It’s said that Paul and Babe were not only a great team, they were inseparable.
As you travel around the Whitefish Chain, you’ll likely be travelling along the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway, named for the big man and dotted with interesting attractions and informational kiosks that combine truth with lore to tell about our area’s history.
In Pine River, stop in at the Information Center to not only learn more about all the city has to offer, but check out Paul’s baby shoes. Carved of wood, children will be able to fit their whole selves into the shoes!
In Pequot Lakes, stop at the iconic bobber tower- did you know that it’s Paul Bunyan’s bobber? Imagine the size of the fish he caught! Below the tower is a charming, small park with Paul’s giant log chair. Children love the challenge of climbing up onto the seat to sit at the high vantage point.
In Crosslake, the Chamber of Commerce welcome center at the corner of County Road 3 and County Road 66 has evidence of the days of lore when Paul walked the woods of the Whitefish Chain. Outside the building are Paul’s giant footprints cast in cement in the grass.
Across the street, at the Corps of Engineers Recreation Area, visit a statue Babe the Blue Ox next to the playground parking lot. You can even climb on Babe’s back! Nearby you can channel your inner Paul Bunyan at a photo opportunity where you can put your face on Paul’s body. And your buddy can be Paul’s sweetheart, Lucette!
Finally, swing by the A-Pine in Jenkins. There you can see a tall statue of Paul himself! He’s alongside Highway 371, waving at passing cars. It’s the perfect opportunity for a selfie.
After all these stops, you’ve undoubtedly gotten to know Tall Paul a little bit better. Is it any mystery why the legend is so popular in our area? The iconic lumberjack fits into the woods of the Whitefish Chain perfectly.