By Jim Umhoefer
Big Stone County. About 6 miles northwest of Ortonville on Highway 7. Highway map index: B-15.
According to legend, Paul Bunyan's 110-ton granite anchor was found at the bottom of Big Stone Lake. Although some doubt the veracity of Bunyan's exploits, there is no doubt that the 30-mile-long Big Stone Lake (Minnesota's 10th largest) is almost spacious enough for Paul to have taken a bath.
Most visitors who come to use the lake put in from the drive-in access in Big Stone Lake State Park. Anglers are attracted by the lake's walleyes, perch and panfish. Because Big Stone Lake is a border water, the fishing season opens two weeks earlier than inland waters. Water-skiers and sail boaters enjoy lots of elbowroom on Big Stone, though winds can become powerful as they storm down the length of the narrow lake. Canoeists usually paddle close to shore unless the water is calm. Boats can be rented in the park (details at the contact station). Read more: