There's still plenty of summer left to take a road trip and experience some cool things not too far from home, including this extension of the Paul Bunyan State Trail.

Construction of a six-mile paved trail segment connecting the Paul Bunyan State Trail to Crow Wing State Park in Brainerd is now complete and open to the public, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails Division.

The completion of this segment brings the total length of the trail to 115 miles, not including a couple of short on-road connections through the cities of Baxter and Bemidji.  Extending all the way to Lake Bemidji State Park, north of Bemidji, it is the longest of Minnesota’s 25 state trails and the longest continuously paved rail-trail in the country. In 2011, the Rail-to-Trails Conservancy bolstered the trail’s growing national reputation by naming it to the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. 

“This new segment is a great addition to the Minnesota state park and trail system,” said Andrew Korsberg, state trail program coordinator for the DNR. “It connects the first class outdoor recreation opportunities of the state park to the Brainerd and Baxter communities via state trail.”

For more information about the Paul Bunyan State Trail, including a map and virtual tour, visit Trail information is also available from the DNR Information Center; send email to or call 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Check out an aerial video of the new trail segment below, which was created by the contractor Anderson Brothers Construction Company of Brainerd.