Everything you need to know about the 11 Paul Bunyan statues in MN
There isn’t just one Paul Bunyan Statue in MN, but 5 hiding throughout the state. Each has its own unique personality. Some are outside of visitors’ centers, while others are hidden inside destinations.
It’s taken a few years, but my travels around Minnesota have finally gotten me to see all five of the Paul Bunyan statues in Minnesota. I’m dishing out where to find them all.
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The Legend of Paul Bunyan in MN
The Paul Bunyan folklore is a part of the culture of the state of Minnesota. The origins of this folklore are not clear, but it has been passed down through generations.
The story itself is not only about Paul Bunyan but also about his leading companion Babe the Blue Ox. It also talks about their adventures and how they created many features of Minnesota’s landscape, such as lakes and forests.
This story may have originated from a map made by state geologist Hennepin, who mapped the areas of Minnesota before Europeans had arrived.
Paul was eight feet tall and weighed 300 pounds. It was said that he was so strong, he could cut down a tree in one swing of the ax.
Based on the number of Paul Bunyan Statues in Minnesota, and the number of things named after him, he is a beloved story Minnesotans are proud to adopt.
Where to Find Paul Bunyan Statues in Minnesota?
Brainerd Visitors Center, Brainerd MN
Some people in Brainerd claim that the statue of Paul Bunyan is the world’s largest. Standing 12 feet tall and 14 feet wide, the statue has been standing in front of the Brainerd visitors’ center for over 15 years.
The statue was created by artist Rudy Zavolny and depicts a giant Paul Bunyan with his trusty companion, Babe, by his side.
The statue was created to promote tourism because Brainerd wanted to be associated with Paul Bunyan and Babe – who were always popular characters in American culture. The sculpture has brought in many tourists over the years.
To visit Paul, pull off on the visitors’ center exit. He’s in the divider between the highway. You’ll see him right out front. Make sure to stop inside and see what else there is to do around Brainerd, Minnesota.
Paul Bunyan Land, Brainerd MN
The Paul Bunyan Statue in Paul Bunyan Land in Brainerd Minnesota is a must-see for any tourist and proud Minnesota resident.
This 26-foot statue was built in 1954. What sets this statue apart from the rest is that Paul moves and speaks. Included with the price of admission to the theme park, the statue greets visitors by name.
For those that are only wishing to get your selfie, no worries, they have a discounted fee for that.
Before you go inside, make sure to check out the giant statue of Babe the Blue Ox. It’s out of this world.
Brainerd has a lot going on. Make sure you check out the other fun things to do nearby: 38 FUN Things to do in Brainerd Minnesota
Bemidji Visitors Center, Bemidji MN
The statue is an iconic landmark in Bemidji; many people come to take photos and enjoy the view. It was created to honor the logging industry that brought prosperity to much of Northern Minnesota.
The statue was created by James Edward Daugherty and it’s an American folk hero. It was erected in 1936 after it was commissioned by the Rotary Club of Bemidji.
The Paul Bunyan Statue has moved from its original location to different locations in Bemidji, starting from 1960 to 1991 and then to its current location at the Paul Bunyan Visitors’ Center since 1993. Today it sits with the beautiful Lake Bemidji in the background.
Make sure to check out the nearby Lake Bemidji State Park.
The Mall of America, Bloomington MN
Do you remember the days of Camp Snoopy? One thing I loved about the MOA is when they built the theme park, they did so with Minnesota culture in mind. And one thing they incorporated was Paul Bunyan. With the crossover to Nickelodeon Universe, the park still kept Paul and Babe around.
They erected the statue of Paul Bunyan in 1990 to honor the state’s lumberjacks, which was an enormous industry. The statue of Paul Bunyan is 19 feet tall and very imposing.
It’s the only ride in the mall that features animatronics. You’ll also see Babe a few times on the ride. (sorry, no photography on the ride)
You can only see Paul Bunyan’s Statue at the Mall of America on the Log Ride. You can purchase tickets just for the ride, or the all-day wristband and do it as many times as you like.
Bloomington MN has a bunch of fun activities. Make sure to check them out while you are there. 28 FUN Things to do in Bloomington Minnesota
Worlds Largest, Akeley MN
The joy of road trips is finding the unexpected. That is exactly what happened to us on our way to Itasca State Park when we found the world’s largest Paul Bunyan Statue in the small town of Akeley.
Erected to commemorate what people called “The Biggest Lumberjack in the World,” Paul Bunyan. He is said to be over 60 feet tall if he were standing and with an ax larger than any man could handle.
The statue is also home to one of Minnesota’s best selfie spots! Right in front of the statue is a selfie stand for you to get your perfect picture the Paul.
There are a few more obscure Paul Bunyan statues around the state. These are relatively new, misfits, or promotional of smaller businesses. They are quirkier and worth checking out.
- Paul Bunyon and Babe Statue inside Scheels in Eden Prairie.
- A-Pine Family Restaurant in Jenkins MN has a smaller statue.
- Baxter MN has a smaller one on the NE side of the intersection of highways 371 and 210. He holds a bowling ball outside of a muffler shop.
- A junior statue sites at 208 1st St. N., Hackensack, MN in Hackensack.
- Cragun’s Resort on Gull Lake in Brainerd has a small statue outside the entrance to the resort.
- Just outside of Ely you’ll find another Pual Bunyan Statue on the sign for Winton MN.
Make sure to explore the town of Ely while you are there. It’s an amazing north woods experience. The 23 Best Things to do in Ely, Minnesota
Which Paul Bunyan Statues in Minnesota have you been to?
These roadside attractions are spread out all over Minnesota. While you could do them all in a weekend, I recommend taking things slow and enjoying the towns that Paul Bunyan calls home.