Rainy Lake’s northern neighbor celebrates Canada Day July 1, which means visitors to the area are
treated to not one, but two thrilling fireworks displays every year. Here are the best places to watch the
What to Bring
In addition to lawn or camp chairs, or a blanket for seating, be sure to pack bug spray and an extra
jacket, as Rainy Lake weather can vary in July.
Reports from anglers have been mixed, the bite has been a little slow and concentrations of walleye a little harder to find. However, smallmouth bass have been more active and can be found along the rocky shorelines and weedy edges of the bays along the south shore of Rainy Lake.
Walleye anglers expect the upcoming stretch of stable warm weather will cause the walleye to start congregating on the submerged structure throughout the lake, try checking in about 30 to 35 feet of water.
Rainy River is giving up bass below the dam at International Falls. Although it is now closed, the sturgeon tag season runs from July 1 to September 30 and allows tag holders to keep one per season. The sturgeon must be within the 24 to 50 inch slot, or a trophy size over 75 inches. River stretches near Birchdale are popular for sturgeon, you can launch at Nelson Park below the rapids, or at Franz Jevne State Park above the rapids. Sturgeon also tend to concentrate below the dam at International Falls.
Rising water temperatures also put more people in the lake. City Beach just east of Ranier is a popular spot to soak up a little sun, or splash around some cooler water. There's also a small beach right in Ranier that is available to the public.
Make a memorable ending to your day on Rainy Lake by catching a sunset at one of these easily-accessible sites. Before you go, check a weather app for sunset time and make sure your camera batteries are fully charged.
Voyageurs National Park Headquarters
Located on Highway 11 just east of International Falls, this site faces northwest and provides a view of the Rainy River and the community of Fort Frances, Ontario, on the opposite shore.
Located about 3 miles east of International Falls, the community of Ranier welcomes visitors with a restaurant, bar, brew pub, ice cream shop and several opportunities to catch the sunset. The Ranier River dock has a unique view of the convergence of Rainy Lake and Rainy River, which flows briskly under the railway lift bridge. Located at the end of Ranier’s main street, the Spruce Street dock offers the chance for a leisurely stroll, as well as the chance to see spectacular sunset. When standing at the end of dock, you’ll notice a beach with another dock not far to your right, which is another great place to watch mother nature’s end-of-day light show.
Tilson Bay Wayside Park
Further east on Highway 11, Tilson Bay has a dock, boat launch and parking lot, as well as a trail used for both hiking and cross-country skiing. Those who take the trek are rewarded with a picture-perfect view from a high ridge. You can also watch the setting sun warm the colors of the bog on the south side of the bridge.
If you have boat access, simply head onto the lake and face west for endless photo opps framed by deep blue water and rocky pine shores.