Some say, Paul Bunyan was born in Maine ... But, here in Minnesota we know better!
Imagine, if you can, the excitement that was caused by the birth of Paul Bunyan! It took five giant storks, working overtime, to deliver him to his parents. As a child, Paul played with an axe and crosscut saw like the other children played with toys. On his first birthday his father gave him a pet blue ox named Babe.
Paul and Babe grew quickly. In fact, they became so large that the tracks they made gallivanting around Minnesota filled up and make the 10,000 lakes. Lakes close by the spot you're now standing are the fourteen interconnected lakes of the Whitefish Chain, Sibley, Pelican, and the Ossawinamakee Chain.
Although Paul logged the northwoods from coast to coast, one of his favorite places was the Pequot Lakes area. His large bobber got stuck on top of the water tower smack dab in the middle of town during an epic fishing battle with a wily northern named Notorious Nate.
A trail bearing his name is just across Highway 371. The Paul Bunyan Trail is a 100 mile long multi-use paved trail that winds through many towns and past lakes and rivers. Pine River, six miles north of here, is the birthplace of Paul Bunyan.
Also named after the logger, the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway boasts 54 miles of beautiful scenery, recreation, and area history and culture. Just out the A-Pine driveway in access to the spine of the Byway, County Road 16 heading east toward Crosslake. Stop inside for a detailed map.
Like the intricacies of a good Paul Bunyan tale, the Paul Bunyun Scenic Byway cleverly weaves together the stories of a well traveled past. Read more about it on the fourteen interpretative kiosks along the route. Tour in your car, pedal your bike or just put on some good walking shoes. Here's your invitation to the lakes and lands that helped give life to the Great Northwoods and the Legend of Paul Bunyan.
One of Paul's most notable features was his burly size. A man that size needed grand comrades too. Appetites of the hard-working 'jacks and Paul Bunyan himself kept two comrades, camp cook, Sourdough Sam, and baker Creampuff Fatty, mighty busy making food. In fact, legend holds that Sourdough Sam made flapjacks in a griddle so large that fifty youths strapped pork rinds to their feet and skated around to grease it.
While logging in the northwoods of Minnesota, Paul Bunyan discovered the A-Pine Restaurant nestled under century old Norway Pines. Exhausted from hard work and his constant travels, Paul sat right down and enjoyed a hefty, hearty A-Pine meal.
Shirt buttons ready to pop and very tired, Paul set up his tent across County Road 16 on the current site of the AmericInn Lodge and Suites. Paul slept so soundly, it took seven hours of cannon fire from Fort Ripley to wake him for his tee time and the Wildwedge Golf and Mini Golf.
Paul's caddy then was Fanny, Babe's girlfriend. She's still there! You can see her waiting for Paul at the Clubhouse along with Paul's set of custom made giants clubs and his big cart.
In 2008, Paul Bunyan was invited by Rick and Leah Beyer, owners of the A-Pine Plaza, to make a camp in Jenkins. Paul, ever the schmoozer, loved the idea of being in the midst of all the Lake Country folks.
So, today, Paul Bunyan stands proud and welcomes everyone through the Gateway of the Whitefish Area. He invites you hungry ones to stop in at the A-Pine Restaurant for your own hefty, hearty meal-the same delicious eatin' that nearly popped Paul's shirt buttons years ago! Grab a giant cookie from the Paul Bunyan Cookie Company or stop in at the A-Pine Express for a quick snack before hitting the road, the Trail or the Byway.
Thanks for stopping by ... & hurry back!
Rick & Leah Beyer