An Area for All Seasons
Nestled in the heart of central Minnesota in Stearns County along the north fork of the Crow River and near Lake Koronis, Paynesville attracts thousands of visitors each year who enjoy a myriad of recreational opportunities. Three lakes are the core of the local tourist trade, particularly during the summer. Rice Lake and Lake Koronis are linked by the north fork of the Crow River. Lake Koronis—covering 3,014 acres—is just a mile south of Paynesville. Rice Lake is located several miles to the northeast, and further upstream from Koronis is Long Lake, located seven miles west of town just south of Highway 23. The site of Paynesville first appeared officially on area maps in 1857 when Edwin E. Payne formed a post office there. Thirty years later when the Soo Line Railroad arrived in the area, a second post office was opened right near the tracks. A new separate village called New Paynesville developed at this site. The settlements of Paynesville and New Paynesville merged into a single “Paynesville” in January 1905.
These days, more and more people are lured to Paynesville by the great opportunities the area offers. In addition to the scenic beauty of the lakes, a wealth of outdoor and indoor activities are enjoyed by residents that include fishing, hiking, hunting, golfing, sporting activities, antique browsing, movie- and museum-going, and shopping. Paynesville’s retail shops run the gamut from florists to car dealerships, and boat showrooms to antique dealers. With a population of about 2,500, Paynesville’s agriculturally related businesses, modern health care system, manufacturing base and retail businesses offer citizens a diverse economy in which to thrive. Visitors are encouraged to visit and explore Paynesville… and are invited to remain for a lifetime!