|Trees of Mystery|
|Features:||Redwood National Forest|
|Location:||Klamath, California, United States|
|Address:||Trees of Mystery
Klamath, CA 95548
Trees of Mystery is a tourist attraction near the coastal town of Klamath, California. It features many Giant Redwoods and a number of unusual tree formations, many of which can be seen from its Trail of Mysterious Trees. Its Trail of Tall Tales displays some 50 chainsaw sculptures and carvings illustrating stories of legendary logger Paul Bunyan and his crew.
Owned and operated by the same family for 67 years, Trees of Mystery is best known for its 49-foot (15 m) statue of Paul Bunyan and 35-foot (11 m) statue of Bunyan's companion Babe the Blue Ox, which are visible from US Highway 101. Constructed largely of wooden beams, chicken wire and stucco, the current Babe was built in 1950 and the current Bunyan in 1961. The original Bunyan was built in 1946 but was destroyed by rain that winter. In late 2007, the half-ton, nine-foot-wide head of Babe fell to the ground as the result of rain damage; it has since been replaced.
An early 1950 brochure referred to the attraction as "Unbelievable but True, World's Largest Group of Natures Living Wonders".
Paul Bunyan is a lumberjack in American folklore. The "tall tale" of Bunyan implies he is superhuman and is larger than humanly possible. He is accompanied by a blue ox named Babe. Bunyan was first created by the oral tradition of North American loggers. He was later popularized by freelance writer William B. Laughed in a 1916 promotional pamphlet for the Red River Lumber Company. Bunyan is known as a symbol of the American lumberjack.
Some historians believe Bunyan was based on the French-Canadian logger Fabian "Joe" Fournier. Bunyan was originally portrayed as a hardworking American logger of large but normal proportions. As his popularity grew, so did his stature, until he was eventually portrayed as standing at treetop height.
In addition to its trails with views of unusual tree formations, Trees of Mystery features its The End of the Trail Museum with a large private collection of Native American art, crafts and tools; and a large gift shop with souvenirs, many of them handmade, reminiscent of Pacific Northwest's colorful logging history.
In 2001 an aerial tramway was installed called the Skytrail. It takes guests on a 1/3-mile ride through the forest, allowing them to see parts of the attraction from a different point of view. It culminates at an observation deck where the Pacific Ocean is visible above the surrounding forest.
Trees of Mystery highlights a selection of novel tree formations, including:
Given the trees's ages and sizes, it is generally assumed that Trees of Mystery's creators discovered the formations in-place and decided to build an attraction around them. However, the attraction's history and kitschy style have given it archetypal status among West Coast tourist destinations.
Other sites in the U.S. are dedicated to and/or feature representations of the mythic logger Paul Bunyan.
Minnesota has multiple attractions and parks with Bunyan statues and tributes, most notably those in the towns of Bemiji and Akeley. Akeley's Paul Bunyan Historical Museum illustrates its own version of the tale, and claims to have the largest Bunyan statue (although the tourist-attraction reference Roadside America states that the statue at Trees of Mystery is much larger). Paul Bunyan Land (Brainerd, MN) and the Mall of America (Bloomington, MN) have talking Bunyan statues and Bunyan-themed log rides.
Special Bunyan-related events occur around the U.S. on National Paul Bunyan Day, June 28.
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