Minnesota Wonders

Take a ride on Minnesota’s State Bike Trails

Like a lot of kids growing up in the eighties, I didn’t wear a bike helmet. And I didn’t think much about it until I started riding through the city with my own children. I decided to invest in one for myself after having one too many close calls with the drivers on our roads today. Let’s face it; there’s a lot of distracted drivers out there! That’s why I have fallen in love with the bike trails of Minnesota. […]

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Taking the 30 Days of Biking Pledge in Minnesota

It seems like every week on Facebook, one friend or another is participating in a running race or a triathlon. Their posts always inspire me, and I have been thinking about “joining the club”. While athletics were a huge part of my life in high school and college, my participation in sports since motherhood has consisted mainly of playing with the kids in the backyard. Of all the sports we play, riding our bikes by far has become my favorite […]

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Exploring International Falls – Smokey Bear and Cubs

Part two:  A few of weeks ago, I wrote about the Big Vic the Voyageur sculpture in the small town of Ranier.  You can read about it here.  This week we head a couple of miles away to International Falls to learn about America’s favorite forest ranger, Smokey Bear.   Built in 1953 by Gordon Shumaker, Smokey Bear measures 26 feet tall! The U.S. Forest Service created the character of Smokey Bear in 1944 to educate people about the dangers […]

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One “Giant” Minnesota Protest: Big Vic, the Voyageur

Note:  If you head to the far northern tip of Minnesota, you will find a couple of super cool giants.  I am dividing this story into two separate blog posts.  First up is Big Vic, the Voyageur, which can be found in the small town of Ranier.  In a couple weeks I’ll share the story of Smokey Bear, which stands a couple miles away in International Falls.    Let’s face it.  It’s been a crazy couple of weeks.  Donald Trump has […]

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Alexandria’s “Big Ole”

  This week we head to Alexandria, home to the mysterious Runestone and the giant Viking, Big Ole. A great family vacation destination, Alexandria will keep you busy with its beautiful lakes, many museums, and outdoor fun. Standing 28 feet tall and weighing 8,000 pounds, the Viking “Big Ole” protects the city of Alexandria with his shield and sword. Built by artist Gordon Shumaker out of fiberglass, Big Ole represented Minnesota in 1965 as part of a display at the […]

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Bemidji’s Paul Bunyan and Babe

Perhaps the most famous sculptures in all of Minnesota, Paul Bunyan and Babe attract thousands of visitors every year to far northern Minnesota. Bemidji offers loads of family fun with opportunities to learn about science, history, culture, and more! In 1937, the city of Bemidji created the giant sculptures of Paul Bunyan and Babe for their winter carnival celebration. At 18 feet tall and weighing 2.5 tons, Paul stands on the shore of Lake Bemidji, which is said to be […]

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Big Moose in Moose Lake

This week I feature the city of Moose Lake in northeastern Minnesota. Known for its “Big Moose,” historic fire, and Lake Superior agates, this amazing small town will keep you busy with tons of fun and interesting attractions. Big Moose In 1989, three citizens of the town decided to honor their city by erecting a giant moose sculpture along the shores of Moose Lake. In 2002, the sculpture moved to its current location in front of the Moose Lake Area […]

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Akeley’s Paul Bunyan

As I reflect upon my travels across Minnesota, I like to think about all the areas that I look forward to visiting again. Located a few miles apart from each other, the small towns of Akeley, Walker, and Hackensack combine to provide amazing opportunities to view several roadside sculptures and to enjoy the outdoors. I’ll start with the smallest town, the city of Akeley, which is home to one of the most photographed sculptures in the state of Minnesota. Akeley’s […]

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Otto the Otter in Fergus Falls

Our family vacations every year in Otter Tail County on beautiful Star Lake.  There is no shortage of beautiful lakes in Otter Tail County.  Its home to over 1,100 lakes!  That’s the most lakes in one county in the nation!  Otter Tail County is also a hot spot for roadside sculpture and is where my interest with these giants started. Otto the Otter In 1972, a group of Fergus Falls students from a high school shop class built Otto the […]

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Cloquet Voyageur

Big Voyageur on the St. Louis River As part of a bicentennial celebration in 1976, Cloquet built this 20-foot-tall voyageur made of fiberglass to honor the history of settlement along the St. Louis River. The sculpture is a little tricky to find. It is located on the south side of the St. Louis River in Dunlap Island Park near Broadway and St. Louis Avenue. Outdoor Fun Cloquet has 14 parks loaded with things to do!  We visited Pinehurst Park where […]

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