« The Great Outdoors

Mighty Bike Trail...Now a Mighty Geo-Power Trail as well.

by Craig Holgate

The Paul Bunyan Bike Trail is one of the longest Rails to Trails bike trails in the nation boasting 112 smooth miles through the heart of Minnesota. This non-motorized trail links 16 communities between its source in Brainerd/ Baxter and Lake Bemidji State Park on the north end. Now this bike trail has also become one of the largest Geocaching power trails in the nation as well.

Left photo is looking down the mostly straight and very flat Paul Bunyan Bike Trail. Top right is the trail’s namesake found in Jenkins. Middle right is Chuck signing the log on one of the many geocaches. Bottom right photo is an example of what 90 percent of the geocaches along this stretch of the trail look like.

This past weekend a friend of mine and I tackled the section from Nisswa to Backus, 24.8 miles one way. Our method of Geocaching while biking is to start in one place and bike out finding every other geocache along the way. Once we have used up our allotted time for that day we turn around and bike back getting all the ones we passed over along the way. So after our weekend we had logged 203 geocaches and biked 55 miles. We also found a great trailside restaurant in Bites, located in the Pine River area, and had good, unique accommodations at Wildflower Cottages in Pequot Lakes.  Even if you’re not interested in Geocaching the Paul Bunyan Bike trail is one the whole family can enjoy, and there is plenty of it to explore! Below is the section of the trail we traveled.