Known for having “More to Explore,” Minnesota is a fantastic place to have an adventure. And there’s no better place to start than in International Falls! From winter festivities and must-see natural attractions to international access that is literally within walking distance, the “Icebox of the Nation” has something for everyone. Check out some of the following ideas to begin planning your trip today!
For cold-weather lovers, it doesn’t get much better than International Falls where the high temperature in January averages just 2.7 °F. Of course, as the temperature drops, the cities begin bustling with activities like ice fishing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and more. Plus, the Icebox Days are held every year in January and annual events like the Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run are a massive hit with spectators and participants alike.
Located directly across from Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada, International Falls serves as a gateway to the United States’ northern neighbor. Be sure to visit the International Bridge connecting the two cities! Bikers and pedestrians can cross free of charge while motorists can drive across the bridge for a small toll. Don’t forget, all travelers must be cleared through U.S. or Canadian Customs.
For those wondering where International Falls gets its name, look no further than the International Bridge. The falls, though no longer visible, are located directly under the bridge. The power from the falls was harnessed with the building of a dam in 1909 and the hydroelectric energy continues to fuel the local Boise paper mill. The mill offers tours in June, July and August and is listed as one of the top 18 plant tours in the country.
From International Falls, visitors enjoy convenient access some of the country’s most pristine and moving natural attractions, including the picturesque Voyageurs National Park. This park features more than 200,000 acres of breathtaking scenery composed of interconnected waterways, islands, campsites and wildlife. Another favorite attraction is Smokey Bear Park, located just three miles from the Falls International Airport. Visitors are welcomed to the park by a 26-foot, 82-ton, replica of Smokey the Bear. Bike trails are also abundant throughout the area, including one of northern Minnesota’s most scenic trails that begins in International Falls and ends near the Rainy Lake Visitor Center entrance to Voyageurs National Park.
Summers are another great time to visit International Falls with temperatures normally in the 70s and an abundance of sunshine. In July, visitors will want to see the annual International Tug-of-War, Pulling for Peace, across the Rainy River. This favorite event takes place each July 2 as teams of tuggers in Fort Frances and International Falls try to take home the coveted trophy. Then in August, the International Falls Bass Championship gets underway, drawing numerous anglers for two days of events and fun activities for all ages.
When in International Falls, be sure to stop at the Chocolate Moose Restaurant for a family meal with portions so huge and so good that a second trip is almost always required. If a quick fix is in order, stop by the Coffee Landing Café and grab a scone – available throughout the day.
At the end of the day, the Historic Kettle Falls Hotel is a great place to stay. Guests can also take in the scenic view from the dam which controls the lake levels, and is uniquely accessible by boat or ferry service only. Hosts Rick and Barb at the nostalgic Hilltop Motel also offer an alternative lodging choice that present a traveler’s oasis akin to yesteryear.
Come and see for yourself all the interesting, beautiful and memorable sights International Falls has to offer. SkyWest Airlines offers convenient, daily Delta flights to International Falls from Minneapolis. Book today at www.Delta.com.