June 28th is Paul Bunyan Day! Where to Find the Big Guy in New York
JUNE 28th IS PAUL BUNYAN DAY!
Ah, Paul Bunyan. The giant lumberjack and his blue ox Babe are as American as apple pie. The iconic symbol of strength is usually depicted in a red - often checkered - shirt, wielding an axe and a smile. He's one of the more enduring figures of American folklore, alongside the likes of Johnny Appleseed and Davy Crockett.
While it's unknown if Paul Bunyan was actually based on a real person, his likeness can be found everywhere -- probably most famously in Minnesota. Legend has it that his footprints are responsible for Minnesota's 10,000 lakes. But Paul Bunyan has a strong presence in the Empire State as well.
Perhaps New York's most famous Paul Bunyan statue is at Enchanted Forest Water Safari. That 19-foot statue has been a permanent fixture at the Adirondack waterpark since it opened in 1956. In 2019 the statue received a massive refurbishment, with new fiberglass and a fresh coat of paint. Thousands upon thousands of people have taken their picture with him over multiple generations.
But Water Safari's Bunyan is not the only Paul Bunyan statue in New York. Many can be found scattered throughout the Adirondacks and other parts of the state. Some of these are called "Muffler Men," and they were mass-produced by a California-based company called International Fiberglass. They usually stand 18-25 feet tall and were made to advertise roadside businesses. These statues look like they were meant to hold an axe, although many of those have been lost to time.
There is even a "hippy" Paul Bunyan in Bethel, New York, perhaps to commemorate the area's history as it relates to Woodstock.
Below are ten Paul Bunyan statues we found in the state of New York, although we're sure there are more: