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International Falls, Minnesota - Brief Info Facts
International Falls, Minnesota
     International Falls is a city in Koochiching County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 6,703 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Koochiching County.
     International Falls is located on the Rainy River directly across from Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada. The two cities are connected by a toll bridge. Tolls are only charged for north (Canadian) bound vehicles. Voyageurs National Park lies 11 miles east of International Falls. There is a major U.S. Customs Port of Entry on the International Falls side of the toll bridge, and a Canadian Customs entry point on the north side of the bridge.
     Travel Access via Hwy 71 (from Bemedji, MN or Kenora, ON) or Hwy 11 (from Baudette/Warroad or Atikoken/Thunder Bay, ON) or Hwy 53 (from Virginia/Duluth)
     Related Locations: South International Falls, Holler, Ranier, Koochiching County, Ericsburg, Ray, Lake Kabetogama, Namakan Lake, Crane Lake, Littlefork, Big Falls, Loman, Voyageurs National Park, Island View, Rainy Lake City, Kettle Falls, Fort Frances (ON), Atikoken (ON), Quetico Park (ON) . (See some related links on the LINKS page.)

Going West
Rainy River
     The Rainy River is a river, approximately 85 mi (140 km), that forms part of the U.S.-Canada border separating northern Minnesota and northwestern Ontario.
     It issues from the west side of Rainy Lake and flows generally west-northwest, between International Falls, Minnesota and Fort Frances, Ontario, and between Baudette, Minnesota and Rainy River, Ontario. It enters the southern end of Lake of the Woods approximately 12 mi (19 km) northwest of Baudette. It is used for hydroelectricity at International Falls.

Rainy River Basin
     The Rainy River Basin sits on Minnesota's border with Canada and is home to some of the state's finest forest and water resources.
     Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness are located within the Rainy River Basin, as are several of Minnesota's most famous walleye fisheries and many top-notch trout streams. Other prominent uses of natural resources in the basin are forestry, mining and various forms of recreation.
     The waters from the Rainy River Basin flow north, eventually arriving in Hudson Bay.

Going East
Rainy Lake
     Rainy Lake is a relatively large lake (345 sq mi or 894 km) that straddles the border between the United States and Canada. The Rainy River issues from the west side of the lake and is used to make hydroelectricity in the US town of International Falls, which is situated at the outflow of the river from the lake along with its sister town on the Canadian side, Fort Frances, making the river the boundary between the two countries. Voyageurs National Park is located on the southeastern corner of the lake where it connects with Kabetogama and Namakan Lakes. Rainy Lake is part of an extremely large system of lakes stretching from the Great Lakes north to the Arctic Ocean. The levels of these lakes are regulated by the International Joint Commission (IJC). The IJC was founded as a result of the International Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 and is an independent international body. Rainy Lake is important in governing water levels because of the hydroelectric dam situated near the town of International Falls, Minnesota.
     The lake is currently a hot spot for sport and recreational fishing of fish such as Walleye, Northern Pike, Muskellunge, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, which are all considered excellent freshwater sportfish. Rainy Lake is home to the Canadian Bass Championship, which hass occurred every summer since 1996. The lake is dotted with many small islands on both the Canadian and American sides that contain many fishing cabins, small fishing resorts, and vacation homes, making tourism an important part of the local economy.

Voyageurs National Park
     Voyageurs National Park is on Minnesota's northern border and lies in the southern part of the Canadian Shield, representing some of the oldest rock formations in the world. More than one-third water, the park is water-based and rugged, but varied, with most trails and campsites accessible by boat. Rolling hills, bogs, beaver ponds, swamps, islands, and large and small lakes make up the vast scenery. Voyageurs has a cool climate with short, warm summers and long winters.
     Common summer activities include boating, swimming, fishing (with some of the best bass and walleye water in the United States), hiking, and camping, while outdoor enthusiasts enjoy skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing during the colder months. A rich location for wildlife viewing, Voyageurs is located in black bear country, and designated campsites are equipped with bear lockers for food storage. If a locker is not available, be prepared to hang your food, as bear-proofing food storage is required.
     In the summer, park-sponsored programs include interpretive walks, children's activities, and canoe trips. In the winter, activities include candlelight skiing and snowshoe hikes.
     Also in the park, Kettle Falls Dam, built by the Minnesota and Ontario Paper Company, converted 20-foot falls to a 12-foot dam; a damkeepers cabin was built in 1910. Lodging is available in the park during the summer months at Kettle Falls Hotel (listed on the National Register of Historic Places), and houseboats are available for rent. (Closed January 1, Thanksgiving, December 25)

Pigeon River
     The Pigeon River forms part of the US-Canada border between the State of Minnesota and the Province of Ontario west of Lake Superior. In pre-industrial times the river was a waterway of great importance for transportation and trade.
     The Pigeon River flows in an easterly direction out of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for approximately 50 mi (80 km) until it drains into Lake Superior. The Pigeon is one of the larger rivers on Superior's North Shore.
     The Pigeon River originates as the drainage for a series of lakes connected by short rapids. South Lake, at the head of this chain of lakes, is separated only by a narrow isthmus from North Lake and the headwaters of the Rainy River in the Nelson River watershed. This isthmus, a part of the Northern (or Laurentian) Continental divide , is known locally as Height of Land Portage.

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Installed on 28 January 2007

This page uploaded on Monday, 29-Jan-2007 11:59:35 EST