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Rainy Lake's sprawling 221,000 acres straddle the border of United States and Canada. Known as a water sports lover's paradise, Rainy Lake is located in the Northeastern Region of Minnesota near International Falls and Ranier. Canada's portion of Rainy Lake consists of 75% of this massive body of water, while United States is home to the remaining 25%. With so much water it is no wonder sports enthusiasts are drawn to this recreational wonderland. Activities on and around the lake include boating, canoeing, kayaking, camping, swimming, hiking, and fishing.
Rainy Lake is a glacier-formed natural lake that was dammed in both United States and Canada. Fort Frances- International Falls Dam was built in 1909, while the Kettle Falls Dam was built in 1914. Each dam is controlled by Boise Cascade Corporation in United States and Abitibi Consolidated Inc. in Canada.
Not only does Rainy Lake boast of having 929 miles of exterior shoreline, its water also laps against 635 miles of shoreline around its 1,600 islands. With so much lakefront property, real estate and vacation rentals are plentiful, and there are vacation rentals to suit everyone's taste and include homes, cabins, cottages, and houseboats. Home owners or guests can soothe away their cares as they enjoy the sun setting over Rainy Lake from their lakeview deck. Two other lakes - Kabetogama and Namakan - adjoin Rainy Lake, while the 80-mile-long Rainy River provides a connection to Lake of the Woods.
Rainy Lake offers access to Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota's only national park. Visitors of Rainy Lake may enjoy additional recreational benefits of Voyageurs National Park and can access the park by boat, canoe, or kayak during warm months. When the waters of Rainy Lake freeze, visitors may reach Voyageurs National Park by driving across plowed roads on the lake, or they may travel by snowmobiles, cross-country skis, or snowshoes. Once in Voyageurs National Park nature lovers may pitch their tents on designated park islands. While camping, observant watchers may spot loons, eagles, otters, deer, black bear, or moose.
Regarded as an angler's paradise and one of the most scenic fishing destinations in the United States, Rainy Lake is known to be one of the world's top multi-species fisheries. Rainy Lake boasts large populations of northern pike, black crappie, walleye, sauger, and smallmouth bass. In 2006 Rainy Lake was, for the third time, selected as the site of the prestigious Governor's Fishing Opener, attracting large number of pro and amateur anglers. Anglers may also enjoy fishing from nearby Rainy River which is another world-class fishery. The 80-mile long river offers the largest spring walleye spawning run in the world. There are public boat accesses to both Rainy Lake and Rainy River, and they are open to boats, canoes, and kayaks.
Sightseers may want to plan a trip to International Falls and the little resort village of Ranier in their Rainy Lake travel plans. After stumbling upon a treasure in one of the many antique shops, visitors may want to recharge at a nearby restaurant or ice cream parlor. Then it will be time to take out the golf clubs and enjoy a round of golf with magnificent views of Rainy River. For those who take pleasure in observing nature while bicycling will find the Rainy Lake Bike Trail a satisfying diversion. The trail begins in International Falls and ends near the entrance to Voyageurs National Park. For additional activities that may be happening in the area, visitors should take a stop at International Falls Visitor's Bureau.
Since Rainy Lake is located on an international border, many visitors enjoy crossing into Canada or the United States via the International Bridge. When traveling from the United States, tourists must check in with Canadian Customs.
Vacation rentals and sales are available on Rainy Lake, so visitors can unwind in a lakefront home, rustic cabin, or just enjoy being close to nature at a lakeside campsite. Whether you choose to call Rainy Lake home, or you take delight in taking your vacations on this scenic lake, you are sure to find the natural beauty of Rainy Lake to be mesmerizing.
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