Known as the birthplace of the Paul Bunyan Trail, the city of Pine River is located on the northwest end of the Whitefish Chain of Lakes Region. Today, in addition to an old fashioned, downtown retail district, Pine River is home to farmers and rachers, family-owned resorts, and a handful of manufacturers, as well as a newly established green living movement, thanks to the the Central Minnesota Initiative Foundation's Healthy Communities Partnership and the Minnesota GreenStep Cities programs.
Pine River's famous, weekly duck races bring in thousands of vacationers to the city on Fridays during the summer months, as do the Friday's Grower's Market and the weekly fishing seminars. An unique Flea Market happens on Saturday mornings. A must stop in Pine River is the Chamber's Information Center, which houses Paul Bunyan's baby boots and the historic Pine River Depot — complete with a newly resorted railroad depot (cir 1800s), as well as a 1919 horse-drawn fire engine and a red caboose.
Community members are involved in a community garden, and many other sustainable life skills, thanks to major community supporter Happy Dancing Turtle which is located on the Hunt Utilities Group (HUG) Campus, a 70-acre campus that is a point for the research and development of sustainable living practices, renewable energy efforts, & high efficiency sustainable housing methods.
History of Pine River
Established a more direct route between Leech Lake and an the Mississippi River, the area which is now the city of Pine River's first business was a trading post owned by George Barclay and Dennis McNannie (established 1895). The trading spot was established long ago thanks to canoe routes, Indian trails and stage coach routes. The Burlington Northern Railroad passed through down and brought with it a train depot (1898) that futher established the city.
Learn more about the new historical walking tour of Pine River, thanks to a Legacy Amendment grant from the Minneosta Historical Society. A map and brochure are available at the Pine River Information Center (corner of Hwy 371 and Barclay Ave.).