Towering over the highway at 44 feet tall, North St Paul has a resident mascot made of concrete stucco and painted white with a 16-ft wide smile. This is the World’s Largest Snowman, and he is right at home here in MN, where winter is the dominant season.
40 feet in circumference, 11 feet tall, 12 feet in diameter and weighing in at over 11 tons, the World’s Largest Twine Ball is housed in a wooden gazebo with plexiglass windows, in the farm town of Darwin, MN.
I had read about this place numerous times and never figured I would ever be anywhere near it. The truth is, its really in the middle of nowhere. On the MN/SD border about halfway down the western edge Minnesota lies this geological anomaly. This is Salt Lake. It’s roughly 300 acres of shallow water sitting on the open prairie surrounded by fields and the occasional grove of trees.
Akeley, Minnesota, pop. 432, claims to be the birthplace of mythical folk hero Paul Bunyan. There aren’t many who don’t know the tales of the giant northwoods lumberjack, and there are statues of Paul in almost every state in the US. Plenty of other towns and states claim to be his home, but Akeley has the crib too, parked right behind the giant kneeling statue of the big guy. His outstretched hand is the perfect photo opportunity and there is a small park located here too. Paul is about 30 feet tall kneeling, and over 40′ if he was afoot.
Also behind the statue is the Paul Bunyan Historical Museum, which documents the history of the area. Akeley once was home to the largest sawmill in the state and had a population of over 3,000 in the early 1900’s. Now it sits as a touristy small town between Park Rapids and Walker.
While in the area: Akeley is located on the Lakes Country Scenic Byway, which spans through Minnesota’s lakes and pines, and through the Chippewa National Forest. It also sits on the Crow Wing chain of lakes, so there is no shortage of things to do. Or, jump on your bike and cruise down the Heartland Trail.
Remer, MN is a small town in north-central Minnesota not really all that close to anything. It’s home to about 370 people, a couple bars and stores, and one great roadside attraction. This Bald Eagle sits right on the main street through town, and is impossible to miss. It sits on a stone pedestal overlooking the town. Although not the only eagle statue in the state, it does stand out due to its color and detail. A painted sign next to it tells about how the eagle is a salute to people who served for the country in time of war. It’s about 10 feet tall.
While in the area: Bring your ‘squatch hunting gear! Remer was recently in the news for an alleged bigfoot sighting, and my recent travels there ended up with pretty conclusive evidence. And by that I mean I didnt find anything that could be considered evidence. Nice, quiet area though with a lot of lakes and pine trees.