World’s Largest Pelican, Pelican Rapids, MN

Right next to the Mill Pond Dam in the heart of downtown Pelican Rapids is the World’s Largest Pelican.  “Pelican Pete” is 15 feet tall and stands sentinel over the Pelican River.  There is a great little park area to get a photo and watch the water crash down the dam. It is said that Bemidji’s Paul Bunyan statue was the inspiration behind Pelican Pete, which was built by citizens of Pelican Rapids in 1957 for the town’s Jubilee Celebration the following year. He was built with plaster and concrete around a metal frame. In wintertime, sometimes the town dresses him up with a hat and scarf.


Additionally,  found all over town are smaller, 4 foot tall pelicans decorated in different designs outside of local businesses, which were part of a community art project in 2007.

2013-10-08 15.05.59Also in town is a smaller pelican statue in front of the Pelican Hotel on the north end of town.

IMG_2790See how many you can count on your next trip through!

While in the area:  Maplewood State Park is only about 10 miles down the road.  This is a great state park with rolling bluffs, ravines, great hiking and views of area lakes. Grab a burger at the hidden gem Maple Beach Resort between Pelican and Maplewood, or head north of town and learn about the historic and mysterious “Minnesota Woman.”

Culvert Man – Nodine, MN

This one is pretty far off the beaten path.  Nodine is a tiny town home to little more than a church, a few businesses, and some homes.  It’s on the extreme southeastern corner of the state, almost to Wisconsin, right on the edge of bluff country.

One of my personal favorites, the Nodine Culvert Man stands about 30 feet tall.  He is right outside of the Nodine Culvert Company, and is made entirely of shaped metal. The cowboy hat is a nice touch. Easy to find right on the eastern edge of town.

While in the area:  Great River Bluffs State Park is just minutes north of here. Great hiking with outstanding views of the Mississippi River from high up on the bluffs. The Dorer Hardwood State Forest is also great for hiking.