Located directly across the Rainy River from Fort Frances, International Falls lies on Minnesota’s border with Ontario, Canada. The area was visited by explorers as early as the 17th century but it wasn’t until 1901 that it was incorporated as a village. International Falls has been nicknamed the “Icebox of the Nation” due to its chilly temperatures.
Things to do in International Falls
You can learn about the people and events that have made International Falls what it is today at the Koochiching County Historical Museum. It explores 10,000 years of Borderland history, including exhibits about the area’s First Nations people and early settlers. Adjacent is the Bronko Nagurski Museum, which celebrates one of the NFL’s most beloved players.
The Koochiching County Historical Museum and Bronko Nagurski Museum are located within Smokey Bear Park, which centres around an eight-metre-tall statue of this American icon. It was built in 1954, shortly after the National Forest Service launched Smokey Bear as a fire-fighting mascot. Also within the park is a band pavilion and a picnic shelter where you can stop for lunch.
On the banks of the Rainy River is the River Golf Course, which was designed in 1998 by Joel Goldstrand. In addition to its 18-hole course, there is a driving range, a practice area and an on-site grill. Combine your visit with a stroll along the Cranberry Peatlands Interpretive Trail, which winds its way through an area that was once mined for peat moss.
Getting around International Falls
Falls International Airport is a five-minute drive from the city centre and has regular flights to Minneapolis-St. Paul. By road, the Twin Cities are around 4.5 hours away. Long-distance buses connect to International Falls while renting a car gives you greater freedom to explore the area.