Where to Catch a Baseball Game
Although Northern Minnesota is usually associated with winter sports like hockey and cross-country skiing, spring is a great time to enjoy baseball and softball games in International Falls, which hosts Little League, junior- and senior-high school and junior college teams.
Rainy River Community College
RRCC offers fans the opportunity to experience the excitement of collegiate sports with both men’s baseball and women’s fast-pitch softball teams. Consistently ranked one of the top teams in their conference, many Voyageurs go on to play at the Division I, II, and III levels.
The baseball/softball season runs from March through May, and with 40-50 games, there’s ample opportunity to see the Voyageurs on their home field during the week and on weekends. For a complete schedule, visit rainyriver.edu/athletics/baseball/ and rainyriver.edu/athletics/softball/.
Falls High School
The FHS Broncos also have baseball and softball programs, including 7th and 8th grade, junior high and varsity teams. Part of the Iron Range conference, the Broncos take on teams from Hibbing, Virginia, Mesabi East, Littlefork, Cherry and others. Games are held throughout the week, usually Tuesday and Thursday, with varsity teams typically competing Friday afternoon. Fields are located behind the high school, and a complete schedule is online at isd361.k12.mn.us/athletics/activities-schedules.
Watch future hall-of-famers as they grow into the game of baseball from May through June or early July at three field locations: Rizzo, Holler Elementary and Kerry Park. A staple of many small towns across the country, the Little League program in International Falls boasts a full roster of kids ranging in age from 4 to 12. Games are played throughout the week, and a schedule is posted online at ifallsll.com.
For History Buffs
Immerse yourself in one of baseball’s golden eras with “Town Ball: The Glory Days of Minnesota Amateur Baseball” by Armand Peterson and Tom Tomashek. The book chronicles the characters of the sport from 1945 to 1960 and includes the International Falls team, the “Mandos,” an acronym for its sponsor, the Minnesota and Ontario Paper Company.
The Most Comfortable Way to Explore: Family Houseboating on Rainy Lake
While sleeping under the stars or in a leaky tent may appeal to some, others prefer their nature experiences to include more creature comforts. Think full-size refrigerator vs. a half-dozen coolers full of melting ice, a bathroom with shower vs. open-air ranger pot, or a queen-size mattress vs. a musty sleeping bag. For these Rainy Lake visitors, houseboat vacations provide the opportunity to explore the area’s natural beauty without forgoing the comforts of home. With kitchens and bedrooms, open-air porches – even bathrooms and showers! – houseboats allow entire families to explore the lake and its endless miles of shoreline together.
There are two options for houseboating on Rainy Lake: Rainy Lake Houseboats and Northernaire Houseboats, both of which boast a full fleet of vessels in varying sizes that come with a host of amenities like screen porches and grills, and add-ons like slides and top-deck hot tubs. Like your own home, houseboats are accessible and comfortable for all ages. Kids love jumping off the back of the boat into the sparkling water, while grandparents enjoy drinking a cup of coffee in the morning while gazing at the expansive scenery.
A houseboat vacation offers something for everyone. Whether you spend the day fishing, swimming, playing on the beach, or hiking the trails, your boat is the home base everyone returns to for family meals, games and long-lasting memories. There are about 50 designated houseboat camping sites* located throughout Voyageurs National Park on Rainy Lake, and most include fire pits, bear lockers, and picnic tables, along with unparalleled immersion into the Boreal wilderness. Make a campfire to roast s’mores, then hop into cozy beds. Challenge family members to card games on the picnic table, then dash inside your houseboat in case of a rain shower. Spend the day in the sunshine knowing a cold beverage awaits in the refrigerator.
Whether your family vacation time falls in the spring-time or late-summer, choosing to take a houseboat trip is a sure way to ensure fun --- and comfort – for everyone.
*Permit reservations are required for houseboats within Voyageurs National Park May 1 – October 31 and can be obtained at recreation.gov. You can also find step-by-step instructions on how to make houseboat reservations online, or call 1-877-444-6777.
International Falls area anglers are focusing on the sturgeon that lurk the waters of Rainy River. These are very large, slow growing fish and a small one might be one of the biggest fish you ever catch. Right now,m sturgeon fishing is strictly catch-and-release. You can also fish our border waters for northern pike and smallmouth bass.
For Sturgeon, locate a deeper hole then drop your bait upstream a bit. Thread a couple worms and a minnow on a circle hook with a fair amount of weight. Sturgeon will be lured from the deeper hole to check out the bait. Handle sturgeon with care, the Rainy river is an example of a river experience great recovery of a fishery and it's to everyone's benefit to keep it that way.
Song birds and waterfowl are starting to return to the forests and wetlands, meanwhile ruffed grouse are drumming in their spring mating ritual. These are all reliable signs that spring is now winning the weather war against winter.