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Roadsides Treats in Central Minnesota
World's Largest Crow & Giant Viking
Vining Sculpture Garden – Vining
Some places claim to be the Tourist Attraction of the World, but the small Minnesota town of Vining might win by a nose.
Set along Minnesota State Highway 210, 30 miles east of Fergus Falls, Vining is home to the World’s Largest Clothespin, Coffee Cup, Doorknob, Electric Cord Plug, Square Knot and Foot.
Set in the Vining Sculpture Garden – otherwise known as Nyberg Park, visitors make take a peak at these rare monuments off Front Street in the eastern part of town.
Constructed by resident Ken Nyberg, these structures are made out of scrap metal such as lawn mower blades. Other sculptures in Nyberg Park are the giant watermelon and cactus.
Ball of Twine – Darwin
Darwin is home to the World's Largest Twine Ball of Twine built by one person – that person being Francis A. Johnson who started his little project back in 1950. After 23 weeks and one freshly built gazebo, the Johnson Twine Ball now sits across from the Darwin Town Park six decades later.
The ball is best visited in August, during the annual Twine Ball Day celebrated by residents and travelers alike. Be sure to stop by the neighboring museum and gift shop, and grab something special for the home in Darwin – set 40 miles south of St. Cloud.
Crow – Belgrade
Considered part of the St. Cloud metropolitan area, the Minnesota town of Belgrade sits at the confluence of U.S. Route 71 and Minnesota State Highway 55. Belgrade also hosts the World’s Largest Crow – standing prominently at 18 feet tall atop a 25-foot base and perched along a 30-foot branch.
Constructed in 1988, this iconic crow sits in the Belgrade Centennial Memorial Park just off Highway 71. So pack a picnic lunch and get to know the World’s Largest Crow in Belgrade – where they’re more than happy to welcome visitors to Crow Country.
Dala Horse – Mora
Never been to Sweden? Try Mora. Sitting at the confluence of Minnesota State Highway 23 and Minnesota State Highway 65, Mora is home to the enormous Dala Horse – an imitation of the Dalecarlian horses from a Swedish village of the same name.
This tribute to Swedish heritage stands at 22 feet tall, 17 feet wide and weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. Take a break from Highway 65 and make your way to southern Mora for a peak of this impressive attraction constructed in 1971. You can’t miss it.
Lefse – Starbuck
A small town in central Minnesota, Starbuck is home to the World's Largest Piece of Lefse. The largest piece of lefse flatbread was baked in 1983, and weighed in at 70 pounds, measuring at a diameter of nine feet, eight inches.
See the commemoration of this record-breaking day sitting by the Depot on Main Street in Starbuck. Whether driving alone Minnesota State Highway 28, Minnesota State Highway 29, and Minnesota State Highway 114, don’t miss the World's Largest Piece of Lefse.
Mallard Duck – Wheaton
Welcome to the Land O’ Ducks. Settled along U.S. Route 75 and Minnesota State Highway 27 in western Minnesota, Wheaton is host to the World’s Largest Mallard Duck. Captured in full flight off of Highway 75, this unique structure has graced the presence of Wheaton visitors and residents since 1960.
Made of steel and concrete by Elmer Olson, our mallard friends measures 20 feet in size – easy to spot when traveling through southern Wheaton – 60 miles west of Alexandria and 50 miles southwest of Fergus Falls.
Otter – Fergus Falls
Fergus Falls ain’t the county seat of Otter Tail County for nothing. Meet Otto the Big Otter – the 40-foot long giant otter stand in mid-sniff on the banks of Grotto Lake in southeast Fergus Falls. Found in Grotto Park – otherwise known as Adams Park – Otto is constructed of metal and concrete and built by high school students.
Pelican – Pelican Rapids
The World's Largest Pelican is found in, you guessed it, Pelican Rapids – a fun city set in central Minnesota. Standing proudly adjacent to Mill Pond Dam on Pelican River, this structure is the pride of downtown Pelican Rapids. Pelican Pete stands at nearly 16 feet, a representative of 1957 – the year Pete was constructed.
Fish for bluefish, northerns and sunnies while admiring Pete’s stature, enjoy a family picnic or check out the other large structures nearby. Take a break from U.S. Route 59 or Minnesota State Highway 108, and come meet Pete.
Prairie Chicken – Rothsay
You can’t miss the World's Largest Booming Prairie Chicken found in Rothsay – a small town in central Minnesota dubbed the Prairie Chicken Capital of Minnesota. Considered part of the Fergus Falls metropolitan area, Rothsay is a cozy town found along Interstate Highway 94.
Head for the Art Fosse Wayside Rest to acquaint yourself with the World's Largest "Booming" Prairie Chicken, a 13-foot tall, 9,000 pound icon to Rothsay erected in the mid 70s. This is the photo opportunity of a lifetime.
Viking – Alexandria
See where the real Viking fans are in Alexandria. Found along Interstate 94, Minnesota State Highway 27 and Minnesota State Highway 29, Alexandria hosts Big Ole – the gigantic viking statue built in 1964.
Set at the north end of Broadway Street along the shores of Lake Agnes, Big Ole was built by Gordon Schumaker out of fiberglass – his shield reading the words, “Birthplace of America.”
Walleye – Garrison
Known as one of the many Walleye Capital of the World cities, Garrison sits between Mille Lacs Lake and Borden Lake, 75 miles northeast of St. Cloud. Settled in central Minnesota – whose state fish just so happens to be the Walleye since 1965 – Garrison is home to a 15-foot Walleye Pike made of fiberglass and love.
Mr. Walleye sits proudly in Garrison Concourse Wayside Park, along the shores of Mille Lacs Lake in southeast Garrison. Pull over from US Highway 169, because you won’t want to miss this.