The Story of Paul and Babe the Blue Ox in Brainerd, MN

The story of Paul Bunyan is that he was a very large man with immense strength and power. He was accompanied by his companion Babe, the blue ox, and they were have said to have carved out the more than 10,000 lakes of Minnesota with their giant footprints. Paul was an American logger from the Great North who was said to be responsible for many more natural landmarks and landscapes around the United States as well. Henceforth his is influence may be felt throughout the entire country.

The origin story of Babe was one of which Paul was walking in the snow and came across a frozen blue baby ox. Just as Paul grew fast so did the ox, who kept its color and whom Paul eventually named Babe. It is said that one day while dragging the tank wagon to ice the logging roads, the tank sprung a leak. That leak formed Lake Itasca and the overflow from It known as the Mississippi River.

Paul Bunyan Day happens to be June 28th, so make sure to celebrate by donning some lumberjack plaid, sporting some suspenders, or growing an epic beard—or by enjoying one of these famous Paul Bunyan and Babe landmarks in the Brainerd Lakes Area. You can also watch an interview with Paul Bunyan by Visit Brainerd’s Holly Holm.

Paul Bunyan Land

Paul Bunyan Land is located at 17553 Hwy 18, Brainerd, MN. The amusement park offers more than 15 rides for people of all ages plus a Ferris wheel and a climbing wall. Not only are there rides but there is a petting barn and pioneer village as well. The Pioneer village gives you an idea of what made up the region’s small towns in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The village includes a saloon, a sawmill and even a blacksmith. Paul Bunyan land also features a 26-foot-tall Paul Bunyan, who greets you upon entering. Babe the Blue Ox is commemorated in a statue at the entrance of Paul Bunyan Land and is an excellent spot for a photo opportunity.

Footprints at Kohl’s

The original location of Paul Bunyan Land was right where Kohl’s is now located, near the intersection of Hwy 210 and Hwy 371. The parking lot still features a footprint of Paul’s size 80 boots! The Amusement Park resided in this area from 1953 until 2003.

Welcome Center Statue

The Brainerd Lakes Area Welcome Center located on Hwy. 371 near Crow Wing State Park (approximately 10 miles south of Brainerd) is lucky enough to have their own 11.5-foot-tall Paul Bunyan. This Paul is featured sitting down on a stump with one hand on his knee and the other raised in the air waving to all of the area’s visitors. He is also good company for a photo opportunity. He was created by local artist, Josh Porter, and is made from fiberglass.

Blue Ox Statues

In 2008, the Crossing Arts Alliance created dozens of customized oxen in a fundraising event called The Oxtrot. Inspired by regional attributes, these custom works of art (approximately 4 feet by 4 feet) were auctioned off and sold. Most of them can be found at businesses and homes around the area.

(C) Visit Brainerd