Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway

A view along the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway
Along the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway

The Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway is a 54-mile route through the lakes and woods of north-central Minnesota, a landscape littered with bits and pieces of Paul Bunyan lore. The route is composed of three non-connected loops, non-connected because Highway 371, which ties them all together, is not part of the designated byway.

The byway itself runs along county roads mostly in northern Crow Wing County with a short stretch crossing the line into Cass County. Along the route are 13 interpretive kiosks and multiple opportunities to get off the pavement and go for a hike in Paul Bunyan land. The area is also filled with lakes jumping with northern pike, rainbow trout, walleye and other game fish. A lot of folks like to visit during the fall color season, a time when the woods are also filled with heavily armed folks in orange clothing.

Paul Bunyan was a mythical logger of the north woods. He and his blue ox Babe were credited with singlehandedly deforesting much of the northeastern and north-central states. Of course it's a mythical story but there's also a lot of fun and old logging lore in it: Paul Bunyan was the Hercules of the north and is famous for his exploits from Maine to Minnesota.

Fishermen on Rush Lake
Fishing Rush Lake
Map of the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway area

Photos and map are in the public domain