International Falls MN

International Falls is located across the Rainy River from the Canadian border and Ontario at the northern tip of Minnesota. The Fort Frances-International Falls International Bridge separates the two communities along the longest uncontested border in the world. On the U.S. side of the border, the friendly small town is a gateway to outdoor adventure. It’s probably best known for its cold winter temperatures; Rocky and Bullwinkle’s fictional town of Frostbite Falls was based on this northern city. But the truth is International Falls has four seasons, each with their own charms. When the snow is falling, there are plenty of opportunities to get out and explore winter at its best. The rest of the year, the wide-open spaces are just waiting to be discovered far away from the hustle and bustle of ordinary life. 

Rainy Lake

Before International Falls was settled, Native Americans and pioneers were drawn to the misty river that flowed into the big lake. Both were named Rainy thanks to these conditions. Today, Rainy Lake is one of the best places in northern Minnesota to enjoy the outdoors, especially when the weather is clear. Sunny days are perfect for spending a day on the lake that spans both sides of the border, whether you’re just looking for the scenery or high adventure. With a 929-mile shoreline,1564 when you add in the islands, there are plenty of opportunities for fun in the sun. Boaters are a popular sight on Rainy Lake, and houseboat rentals are a nice alternative to typical Minnesota hotels. Anglers know Rainy Lake an International Falls MN as one of the best places to catch small and largemouth bass and walleye. 

Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park
Voyageurs National Park Image: NPS/Matt Holly

Rainy Lake is the gateway to Voyageurs National Park, named for the French fur traders and explorers who once traveled through this wooded wonderland. This vast park, at more than 218,000 acres, encompasses the Kabetogma Peninsula, several lakes and wide-open vistas that feel a million miles away from the ordinary. Much of this remote park is accessible only by boat, although there are miles of wilderness hiking trails. Boats are available for rent or charter rides from local outfitters. Like its neighbor to the east, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Voyageurs is a popular place for spending time on the water for kayakers, canoeists, anglers and others. A trio of visitors centers help make the park accessible to everyone. The Rainy Lake Visitor Center is the closest to International Falls MN, just a few minutes to the east. The Kabetogamma Lake Visitor Center and the Ash River Visitor Center are at the southern edge of the park. All three have exhibits and park rangers ready to answer questions and lead tours. 

International Falls Hotels

International Falls Hotels
International Falls Hotels

Once the sun sets in the north woods, hotels, campsites and resorts provide a comfortable place to stay for International Falls visitors. Within the boundaries of International Falls MN, you’ll have several choices, including the familiar-name properties, bed and breakfasts, and locally run properties. The Kettle Falls Hotel (pictured) hosts several anglers and other outdoor adventures to its location far off the beaten path. Its combination of guest rooms and vacation villas make it easy to find the right accommodations, all at a great price per night. If you’d prefer camping, you’ll also have a lot of choices. Several of the campsites have direct access to the water, so you take your boat right to shore and settle in for the night. 

Top image: afiler (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0

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