When people ask what my grad work is in, it often comes as a surprise when I say Paul Bunyan. So when I found out about the Rapid River Logging Camp in Park Rapids, a nod to all things lumberjack, I jumped at the chance to check it out. Logging Camp was featured in a movie that was shown at the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels and it was rated one of the top 40 restaurants in the U.S by RedBook magazine in 1964.
Walking in, I caught the strong smell of flapjacks in the air. For the love of all things nostalgia and breakfast, I knew I came to the right place. You enter into the gift shop where you purchase your meal tickets. As a note: they are cash or check only. While you wait for your party to be called into the mess hall, you can explore the camp grounds. Peruse the logging machinery and learn about north county’s first industry. See the blacksmith shop, a huge logging sled, and an old steam traction engine. You can also try lifting the 1-ton chain, visit the roaming chickens or stand at the end of the dock where the picturesque Potato River bends to feed the minnows.
When you do finally hear them holler, you will find out fast that it’s more of an event than just a meal. All You Can Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner served family-style on stainless steel platters. Colossal portions, mammoth rations, coffee by the gallon and even piping hot, fresh doughnuts and milk for dessert!
A legend from the very beginning, Logging Camp is a local favorite, keeping kitsch with the same signs still hanging on the walls as the did when they were first hung in 1955. I totally fell in love with the place and can’t wait to make it a summer tradition!