When the desire to travel hits and you can’t wait to leave the stress of daily responsibilities behind and swap them out for some serious fun instead, a trip to the Gull Lake region of Minnesota is just the ticket. This inviting and relaxing locale is loved for its scenery, spectacular opportunities to relax in style, and of course, endless options to get out and make the most of the great outdoors. While Gull Lake and the surrounding communities offer up an abundance of fun when it comes to on-the-water activities, it’s also a place where cyclists will find a maze of trails to check out and explore. If you’re the type of traveler that has a true passion for hitting the road on two wheels, there’s no better place to set your sights while you’re here than on the iconic Paul Bunyan Trail, Minnesota!
A Trail of Opportunity
The Paul Bunyan Trail is an appealing cycling destination not only for its impressive dimensions but for the fact that it connects to so many other trails, making it an easy-to-customize option for those with a passion for outdoor adventure. The Paul Bunyan Trail actually connects three major routes that run through this part of Minnesota, including the Cuyuna State Trail, the Blue Ox Trail, and the Heartland Trail.
At 120 miles long, the Paul Bunyan Trail has officially earned the title of the longest bike trail in Minnesota! This means that just saying you’ve conquered even a portion of it is a feat in and of itself. While some cyclists are up for an off-road-inspired challenge, much effort has gone into making sure the 120 miles of the trail are ultra-accessible to bikers of all ages and abilities. To this end, the trail has been well paved not only between Guthrie south through Laporte towards Walker, but also the trail section that runs from Brainerd to Baxter south towards Crow Wing State Park.
Enjoy the Paul Bunyan Trail, Minnesota Experience
When you decide to take your adventure onto the Paul Bunyan Trail, Minnesota, you’re in for a scenic treat. The trail provides cyclists with a wonderful combination of flat and open sections that seem to spontaneously open up to hilly terrain complete with breathtaking vistas to enjoy! The trail can be approached as a continuous challenge for the cyclist who is inclined to push themselves to new athletic levels. It can also be approached in a more leisurely fashion for those interested in taking time to soak up the sights along the way. The trail includes plenty of places to stop, re-energize, and take in the beauty of northern Minnesota’s landscapes at a preferred pace. Amateur and experienced photographers alike will likely want to combine biking the Paul Bunyan Trail with plenty of time set aside to capture the terrain at its best—so don’t forget your camera when you head this way!
In addition to beautiful vistas, the Paul Bunyan Trail is a route where bird watchers will find a variety of species to admire as they peddle along. The lush grasses, trees, and rolling hills provide a thriving ecosystem for wildlife and an abundance of opportunity for those excited for a closer look.
Trail Logistics and Activities
Much to the delight of travelers, the Paul Bunyan Trail is open to the public year-round, and because it connects so many destinations and other trails, there are plenty of options for pairing your ride with nearby activities too. Many cyclists who enjoy the Paul Bunyan Trail make the most of near-trail picnic stops, time spent resting up in rustic shelters, or even camping at local grounds. Because the trail runs through 14 trailside towns and cities, there’s no shortage of destinations to explore if enjoying the best of new communities is your idea of a great vacation! If you happen to be visiting the Paul Bunyan Trail in the winter, traditional bikes will need to be swapped out for adrenaline-pumping snowmobiles. The Paul Bunyan Trail appeals to winter travelers with a heart for picking up the pace and taking to this iconic route in snowmobile style!
While many summer, spring, and fall visitors bring their own bikes to explore the Paul Bunyan Trail, this certainly isn’t a requirement to make the most of the experience. There are plenty of Brainerd and Gull Lake area rental shops that offer up customizable rental options on all types of bikes perfectly matched to your ideal riding experience.
Book Your Stay Today
Whether you’re headed this way to make the most of time on the Paul Bunyan Trail or just can’t wait to explore the best of Gull Lake, the team at Gull Lake Beach Resorts is ready and waiting to help you get settled into a vacation rental that pairs comfort, convenience, and style. Reach out today to learn more and to start planning your next exciting trip!
There are plenty of reasons to get out of town year-round and enjoy time away with the one you love most. However, there’s something particularly appealing about a Valentine’s Day adventure where romance tops the list of priorities! When you’re looking for a place that caters to a fun, restorative, and of course romantic time away this Valentine’s Day, there are many things to do in Gull Lake that check every box on the list. The following are just a few of the many options to add to your romantic itinerary when you’re looking forward to making the most of your quality time together.
Take a Winter Weather Hike or Snowshoe Adventure Together
For the couple who finds their most romantic moments when out in nature together exploring, Gull Lake, Minnesota, and the surrounding areas provide some exciting options. While this area of the state is popular with hikers in the summer months, those same trails provide for sensational winter hikes for the couple that can’t wait to lace up their boots and hit the trails. Of course, if there happens to be snowfall this Valentine’s Day, a snowshoe adventure hand-in-hand could be worth your while as well! Consider adding the Gull Lake Recreation Area, Fritz Loven Park, or Pillsbury State Forest to your list of trails to conquer as all provide for beautiful, inspiring, and romantic routes to follow.
Enjoy a Spa Day
While the scenery that makes up the greater Gull Lake area is sure to please travelers looking to escape in the name of romance this Valentine’s Day, nothing beats a spa day where you and your loved one can focus on being pampered together. Gull Lake is home to a number of spas that are worth checking out when you’re ready to book your couple’s massage, facials, stone therapy, or wrap. Whether you go with Therapeutic Touch Wellness Spa in Nisswa or Panache Salon & Day Spa in Baxter, you’re sure to enjoy the experience and leave feeling refreshed.
Unwind at a Local Brewery
If casual settings and the best of local flavor are the moments you and your partner look forward to, the Roundhouse Brewery in Nisswa is calling your name. Located at 23836 Smiley Road in Nisswa, the Roundhouse Brewery is a great place to grab a table on the spacious patio, enjoy friendly service and order up anything from a pale ale or IPA to a bold lager. Because only the patio will be open over Valentine’s Day, you’ll want to bundle up for this flavorful stop—however, that gives everyone even more of a reason to snuggle up too!
Savor a Coffee from Stonehouse
Sometimes the most romantic moments are the quiet ones spent together. When you’re just looking to unwind in the comfort of your vacation rental cozied up with the one you love while enjoying a savory coffee, be sure to swing by Stonehouse Coffee and Roastery in Nisswa where pickup options are readily available. Once you have your espresso or macchiato in hand paired with a mouthwatering scone, head back to your home away from home and indulge your tastebuds while enjoying time with the one you love most.
Enjoy Adventure at Mount Ski Gull
For the couple that can’t get enough of adventure and finds their romantic stride on the slopes, time spent at Mount Ski Gull over Valentine’s Day is bound to be the highlight of their experience! Plenty of runs await that cater to skill levels of all types. Whether you head off on skis or a snowboard, Mount Ski Gull provides the fresh powder, fun, and views that you and your loved one crave. It’s important to note that rentals and lift tickets need to be purchased in advance and if you’re planning to spend time on the tubes, masks are required at this time.
Explore the Paul Bunyan State Trail on Two Wheels
For a fresh-air kick that comes complete with lush surroundings, consider pairing up with a set of fat-tire bikes and hitting the Paul Bunyan State Trail this Valentine’s Day. If you’re looking forward to pairing your biking with bird spotting, this trail is the place to do exactly that. Named after the lumberjack that graces American folklore, this trail runs conveniently through the Gull Lake Recreation Area, but in total, is comprised of more than 120 miles of paved pathway to discover!
Whether you’re in town for Valentine’s Day or excited to make the most of a trip any other time of year, having accommodations in place for your Gull Lake getaway is a must! Why not make sure those accommodations are elegant, conveniently located, and equipped with all the amenities you deserve? That’s exactly what you’ll find when you book with Gull Lake Beach Resorts. Contact us today to learn more and to begin planning things to do in Gull Lake!