Description - The Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway is located in central Minnesota's Pine and Lakes area. The area is well-named, with the byway passing by mile after mile of jack, red and white pine, spruce, cedar and birch/aspen mix forests. All this, framed by acres of 'sky-blue water', basined and streaming like poetic incarnations. Whether travelers choose the north or south loop after they've reached the end of C.S.A.H. 16, the entire byway conveys a sense of peacefulness without boredom. The beauty of the natural elements has been carefully preserved while the man-made additions have been included in a way designed to enhance the appeal of the area. The charm of this area, while somewhat slippery to contain in words, is never lost on the traveler. For decades, visitors have felt the allure of the lakes and forests pulling them back, gently prodding them to stay a little longer, and sometimes spinning them right into the fabric of the area where they stay in love with the land for generations to come.
- The Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway is known for it's Historical, Natural, Recreational and Scenic Attractions.
Recreation - Against this beautiful natural backdrop, the area blends the activities of snowmobile trails, walking trails, recreational boating, fishing, horseback riding as well as birding, shopping, antiquing, biking, dining and picnicking. Travelers may spot deer, fox, porcupine, beaver, eagles, osprey, even bear as they make their way through the area. The entire route boasts lodging facilities of every kind, from campgrounds and bed & breakfasts to inns, villas, small and large resorts, lodges and motels. Travelers are welcome to drive through these facilities, visit with the owners and pick up brochures or spend a few days at their favorite place for a relaxing break. Public land abounds along the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway, with the Crow Wing State Forest tucked between C.S.A.H. 16 and 3. Approximately 9 miles east on 16 is the rare and beautiful Uppgaard Wildlife Management Area, a non-game wildlife project that is one of a handful in the state. Use of this premiere area is free. North of C.S.A.H. 1 are seemingly endless acres of public land; a hunter's paradise in the fall and a nirvana for forest lovers all year long. Wild fruit aficionados can find a bucket full of blueberries in August and enough blackberries and raspberries to encourage an eagerly awaited return visit.
Climate - Minnesota lies so far north that winter is the longest season of the year. There are many recreation pursuits to enjoy during this season, but be sure to dress appropriately so that you can enjoy them. Temperatures often dip below freezing during winter and the state receives an average of 50 to 60 inches of snow. Spring, summer and fall can be very wet and rain gear will be necessary for travel during these seasons. Spring and fall tend to be shortened with variable weather, due to long winters, but offer less crowded trails and campgrounds. Summer temperatures average between 70 and 85 degrees F. Night time temperatures dip near 55 and a light jacket is recommended. July and August are the height of the tourist season.
Directions from : From Hwy. 371, turn east onto any of three entry points to the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway. Choose CSAH #11, #16 or #15 to enter. The most common entry point is CSAH #16. Follow #16 to CSAH #66. Choose to go either north or south. Traveling south, follow #66 to #3 to #11 and back to Hwy. 371. Traveling north, follow #66 to #1 to #15 and back to Hwy. 371.