Paul Bunyan Trail Bridge

Bemidji, MN

The Paul Bunyan State Trail is the longest continuously paved path in the state of Minnesota and one of the longest in the country. Stretching 112 miles from Bemidji to Brainerd, the trail passes through historic sites and vacation destinations and provides recreational use for hiking, biking, running, and snowmobiling.

The 400-foot-long pedestrian bridge in Bemidji solidified another crucial piece of the Paul Bunyan State Trail. It allows trail users to safely cross four lanes of busy traffic on Highway 197 for an uninterrupted experience. The project was a collaborative effort between the city of Bemidji, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and Widseth Smith Nolting.

Construction of the bridge began in March 2012 and concluded in August of the same year. The bridge consists of three steel truss spans, two concrete piers, and two concrete abutments.

The bridge was formally opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony on September 26, 2012. State senators and representatives from the surrounding area as well as representatives from the DNR, city of Bemidji, and WSN were in attendance. Since then, various trail users from across the state have enjoyed the benefits of this project.

WSN’s structural engineers have designed more than 250 bridges for 75% of Minnesota’s counties.


Paul Bunyan Trail Bridge — Bemidji, MN

WSN-designed pedestrian bridge extends the Paul Bunyan State Trail. (2:45)