Family Fun, Minnesota – Paul Bunyan Trail

Trip Dates:
Aug 03, 2014 -- Aug 08, 2014
Brainerd, MN
Booking Status:

This new, fully supported family tour travels through the Land of 10,000 Lakes. We’ll ride along the paved, 112-mile-long Paul Bunyan State Trail, as well as on sections of the neighboring Heartland Trail, one of the first rail-trail projects in the U.S. We’ll take in tall tales of local legends Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, as well as true stories of Minnesota’s lumberjacks, fur traders, and Native American tribes.

Pedaling from Lake Bemidji State Park to Brainerd, we might see whitetail deer, red fox, porcupine, beaver, and possibly a wolf, a lynx, or even black bear. And don’t forget your swimsuit! Every campsite we visit will have a lake to enjoy after the day’s ride.

Please note: In order to participate in our Family Fun tours adults must be accompanied by a child and children must be accompanied by an adult.

Start Date: Aug 03, 2014 End Date: Aug 08, 2014
Start Location: Brainerd, MN End Location: Brainerd, MN
Total Days: 6 Riding Days: 5
Rest Days: 1 Miles: 170
Average Daily Mileage: 34.0 Surface: Bike Trail/Paved
Riders: 25 Airport: Minneapolis / St Paul International Airport (MSP)
Tour Leader: Tammy Schurr Caterer: Culinary Insider (Anne)
Meals: Catered meals Accommodations: Camping
Type: Supported Physical Difficulty: Beginner
Level of Support: Family Events Cost: $749.00

Day 1

Brainerd, MN. You’ll meet up with your new friends this morning in Brainerd where we’ll board our shuttle to Lake Bemidji State Park to begin our cycling adventure. (If you arrive early, there is much to do in Brainerd including mini-golf and visiting the Paul Bunyan Nature Learning Center.) At the state park, we’ll have lunch and then you can enjoy a nature walk, canoeing, birding, and swimming in Lake Bemidji before our evening orientation meeting and dinner.

Day 2

Lake Bemidji State Park to Walker, 38 miles. After fueling up at breakfast, we’ll hit the car-free Paul Bunyan Trail, 112 miles of pure biking bliss. Keep your camera handy for a short side trip to downtown Bemidji, home to another likeness of Mr. Paul Bunyan and his famous blue ox, Babe. These statues, built in the late 1930s and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988, are said to be two of the top five most photographed statues in the U.S. Home for the night is Trails RV Park, just outside the town of Walker, and nearby Leech Lake is the perfect place to cool down after a long day’s ride — don’t let the name scare you off!

Day 3

Walker, 24 miles. No need to break camp! Today’s loop ride out of Walker begins on the Paul Bunyan and Heartland State Trails, passing through the Paul Bunyan State Forest, and returns to Walker via the Shin-go-be-Connection Trail. We’ll be back in plenty of time to explore downtown Walker, discover the best ice cream, and take a dip in lake!

Day 4

Walker to Pine River, 30 miles. Leaving Walker, we’ll point our wheels southward to Hackensack where we’ll encounter a larger than life statute of Lucette, Paul Bunyan’s wife. Arriving in Pine River, our destination for the day, be sure to stop at Ole & Lena’s Sweet Revenge Soda Shoppe & Eatery for ice cream and a trip back in time before heading to our campsite at the City Park.

Day 5

Pine River to Nisswa, 14 miles. Our short riding day will allow you to try “geocaching” along the trail or explore Nisswa, an alluring recreation town situated near Gull Lake. At our destination, Fritz’s Resort and Campground, you can rent a canoe or paddle boat to explore Lake Edna, take a swim, or practice your talent for tonight’s “Talent, No Talent!” show.

Day 6

Nisswa to Brainerd, 18 miles. Today, we’ll wrap up our ride along the Paul Bunyan Trail, ending at the 583-acre Northland Arboretum for a celebratory lunch before heading our separate ways. True, our time together will have come to an end, but our memories and photos of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox will long remind us of the fun we had together in Minnesota.

This is a new tour, or one we have not offered in awhile. Sign up and be one of the first cyclists to contribute to this testimonials page! For now read what past tour participants have said about some of our other trips.

"I don't think anyone could have asked for a better group of fellow cyclists to ride with! Men, women, young, old, experienced and newbies."

2009 Tour Participant

"Meeting new friends and being able to share the whole journey with them made y tour. The staff was outstanding with service and places we camped at were totally great."

2012 Tour Participant

"This experience more than met my expectations."

John Sieber

"Near Big Sur California, in one day, I saw ten of the 314 California Condors know to exist. Two were so close I could have tossed up a piece of meat to them. This was more than a bike ride. It was a roller coaster in terrain, in spirit, and in self confidence."

2008 Tour Participant

Photo by Jack Affleck