Construction on the Paul Bunyan Trail

Paving the Trail
How it was done.
Tunnel Connection
Making travel through Brainerd easy.
What’s Ahead
Future plans and funding needs.
Trail History
From vision to reality.


Since the mid-80’s, the Paul Bunyan Trail has gone from a dream to a reality with almost 30 years of planning and construction to complete the 120-mile MN Bike Trail.

Completed: Bemidji Area Projects in 2001 Pave a 2 mile segment from the Mississippi river bridge along the East side of Lake Bemidji on RR grade into city of Bemidji.  State bonding funded. $400,000
Completed:  Concrete bridge over Bemidji bypass.  4 lanes of highway – 2 spans with pier in median.  Concrete decks. Prospect cost $800,000. T-21 plus bonding.  2001 complete.
Completed:  Single span concrete bridge over County road 197 (Washington Ave) Concrete deck.  Cost $400,000.  Bonding and DOT funded.  2001.
Completed: Cass Lake Area 2002 U.S.F.S. projects develop and pave 8.7 mile trail around Pike Bay of Cass Lake to connect with Heartland State Trail.  T-21 and U.S.F.S. funds project cost $600,000.
Completed:  Heartland State Trail, Walker to Cass Lake 18 miles. 2001.  TEA 21 and bonding. $1.2 million.
Completed:  Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway 2001 Construction of 12.7 miles of paved shoulders on CSAH 16 from Jenkins to Crosslake $350,000 T-21 funded with match from local community.
Completed:  2003 proposed paved shoulders 4.8 miles on CSAH 11 from Pequot Lakes to Breezy Point $160,000.  T-21 applied for.
Completed: Baxter Area Baxter segments of Paul Bunyan State Trail complete in 2000.  8 miles funded by City of Baxter, local trail grants and MN DOT.
Completed:  Baxter Hwy. 371/210 Tunnel Underpass/Trail scheduled for 2002.  Project cost $450,000 (approx.).  T-21 funding approved as high-priority demonstration project.  Local match; MN DOT, DNR, Crow Wing County, Cities of Baxter and Brainerd.
Completed: Brainerd Highway Bridge New 4-lane highway bridge over Mississippi River includes a 12′ trail lane separated from motor vehicle traffic by a 2 1/2′ concrete barricade.  Added cost to bridge project $600,000.  Funded by MN DOT.  Open August 2000.
Completed:  1998 Minnesota statute extends the Paul Bunyan Trail from Baxter South to Crow Wing State Park approximately 5 miles.  Routes under consideration.
Completed:  Morrison County, Crow Wing Township, and Crow Wing County.  Citizen’s committee working with MN DOT on future trail alignment to Little Falls for a regional trail connection form Crow Wing State Park to Lake Wobegon regional trail via Little Falls to Holdingford.
Completed:  2000 legislative request; 1.4 million dollars to connect the PBST from Hackensack to Heartland State Trail through 18 miles of the Chippewa National Forest.  Total project cost $2.6 million.  $1 million from 98 bonding.  To be completed 2002.