"Trail in a Day" event Sept. 10 connects Paul Bunyan State Trail users to communities
Gather your friends and family, grab your shoes, bike or inline skates and hit the Paul Bunyan State Trail September 10 to join one of the organized rides, rolls or other events sponsored by the communities along the trail. "Trail in a Day" is a community focused event designed to connect trail users of all levels to their local trail, the Paul Bunyan State Trail and the local parks and towns united by the trail.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr and Division of Parks and Trails Director Erika Rivers, as well as local communities, families and trail users will attempt to completely cover the entire 123-mile stretch of the Paul Bunyan State Trail with hikers, skaters and bicyclers.
"This event is another great way to celebrate 125 years of Minnesota State Parks and Trails," said Erika Rivers, Division of Parks and Trails director. "Let's connect with each other by connecting with the local communities and state parks along the Paul Bunyan State Trail."
The trail stretches from Crow Wing State Park in the Brainerd area to Lake Bemidji State Park in Bemidji traversing through 16 towns, including Akeley, Backus, Baxter, Bemidji, Benedict, Brainerd, Crow Wing State Park, Guthrie, Hackensack, Jenkins, La Porte, Lake Bemidji State Park, Merrifield, Nary, Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Pine River and Walker.
Trail goers can get involved by:
- Posting their trail experiences live to the DNR Parks and Trails Facebook page between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Traveling a length of the trail with the trail symbols. At 8 a.m., symbols of the trails namesake will leave from each end of the 123-mile trail. Paul Bunyan will travel north from Crow Wing State Park and Babe the Blue Ox will travel south from Lake Bemidji State Park. Paul and Babe will travel by bicycle, making stops in the communities along the way.
Participating in the follow events in communities along the way include:
Guided Bike Rides to the Mississippi River hosted by Lake Bemidji and Crow Wing state parks (10 a.m. - noon). These guided rides will highlight the history of the trail and surrounding area, as well as the outdoor recreational opportunities the trail provides. Participants meet at the park office. Contact John Fylpaa, Lake Bemidji State Park, 218-308-2300, or Kacie Carlson, Crow Wing State Park, 218-328-8989.
Ethnic Fest in Walker (11 a.m. - ???). A parade will be followed by outdoor festivities including music, foods and crafts from around the world. Contact Leech Lake Chamber of Commerce at 218-547-1313.
1930s Historic Encampment and Heritage Days, Forbes Park, Pine River (9 a.m. - 4 p.m.). The historic Pine River Railroad Depot will be open for tours. 1930s Historic Encampment feature tools of the trade and handmade crafts, displays, storytelling and demonstrations. Hobo stew at noon. Contact Pine River Chamber of Commerce at 218-587-4000.
Meet in the Middle, City Park, Hackensack (1 - 3 p.m.). Paul and Babe will reunite when they meet halfway in Hackensack. Enjoy family activities, food and a Chainsaw Quick Carve by local artists. Listen to short presentation by DNR representatives at 2 p.m. and enjoy cake. Contact Hackensack Chamber of Commerce, 219-675-6135.
Pedal Pequot, Trailside Park, Pequot Lakes (9 a.m. - 4 p.m.). Enjoy family activities and food. Contact Pequot Lakes Chamber of Commerce at 218-568-8911.
Mounted Eagles Walk-n-Roll 10k fundraiser, Nisswa Welcome Center, Nisswa (2 - 7 p.m.). Walkers, bikers and inline skaters leave the Nisswa Welcome Center at 2 .p. to trek 6 miles on the Paul Bunyan State Trail to Pequot Lakes. A spaghetti dinner will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Nisswa Community Center. Contact Lynn Fairbanks at 218-963-3936.
Guided Bike Ride, Brainerd Crow Wing State Park, Meet at office (10 - 11:30 a.m.) Bring your bike and join the Naturalist for an easy ride on the paved Paul Bunyan State Trail to the Mississippi River Bridge just outside the park. Round trip 12 miles. (Participants have the option to continue to ride into Brainerd on their own.) Contact: Kacie Carlson at 218-328-8989 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Paul Bunyan State Trail is 115 miles long, not including a couple of short on-road connections through the cities of Baxter and Bemidji. Extending all the way from Crow Wing State Park to Lake Bemidji State Park, north of Bemidji, it is the longest of Minnesota's state trails and the longest continuously paved (100 miles) rail-trail in the country.
Maybe you can spot Babe or Paul as they make their way toward each other from Brainerd and Bemidji?