In season, ATV riders can explore forestry roads and trails from one end of the county to the other. Along the way, you may encounter all types of wildlife as there are many different forest types and wildlife habitats throughout the County. Koochiching County allows off-road vehicle travel on county roads. The Blue Ox State Trail runs from the northeast corner of Koochiching County to the southwest corner, providing access to miles of trails and scenic forestry roads. Visit the DNR page for information on state regulations and more for all types of off-road vehicle riding.
Rainy River access in International Falls, Pelland Junction, and Birchdale are all open.
Rainy River provides some of the earliest and best open water fishing in the upper midwest as walleye head upstream from Lake of the Woods. Walleye season on our border weaters remains open until April 14, and you might also pull in one of the huge sturgeon lurking in the river. The swifter waters below the dam at International Falls are almost always good for a few walleye and smallmouth bass. Kuttes Landing at Pelland Junction is just upstream from the confluence of the Little Fork River, which is another great hot spot. Nelson Park at Birchdale is just below the Long Sault Rapids where you can find concentrations of walleye and sturgeon.
Related: What Fishing On Rainy River is like.
Rainy River is open from the dam, downriver past Pelland Junction. Anglers are waiting for the accesses to be opened so they can fit in some of the earliest open water fishing available. The photo shows Kuttes Landing just west of International Falls where the anglers have beaten a path to the open water to fish from shore.
The walleye season extends to April 14 on our border waters, plus you can try for huge sturgeon that lurk the river waters. Sturgeon fishing is catch-and-release only, and please be careful handling them, Rainy River is one of the true success stories in efforts to reestablish the species.
Rainy Lake anglers continue to get out, seeking walleye and crappie in 18 to 24 feet of water around Sand Bay, and using tip ups for big northern pike around Black Bay.
Trail conditions are deteriorating and you expect them to be closed very soon.