Winter is settling in now, we’ve had enough snow so the really anxious snowmobilers are able to glide over some of the trails. However, safe ice has not yet formed on the lakes and the lowland swamps are not sufficiently frozen either. Ice anglers are also a bit anxious to get out. Generally once ice is safe enough to support a sled and portable gear, people get out to try the usual hot spots, it will be a bit more time before there’s good ice to support the village of permanent houses that spring up around Sand Bay. There’s no need for snowshoes yet, but you can hike around the Rainy Lake Visitor Center nature and recreation trails to take in the change of seasons. There’s also a good chance of spotting some wildlife.
The firearms deer season has closed, but the muzzle loader season is open through December 13. For small game, the ruffed grouse season remains open until January 3, 2016 and cottontail and snowshoe hare is open until February 29. Koochiching County has vast tracts of public land open to hunting and the access network of forestry roads connect a number of designated hunter walking trails. You can obtain maps through the Convention and Visitors Bureau, just call or email, our contact information is at the bottom of every page on this website.
Temperatures are dipping to freezing and snow is starting to accumulate. Ice is forming on Rainy Lake and everyone is gearing up for ice fishing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and other winter recreations. The season kicks off this Friday evening with the annual “Twas the Lights Before Christmas” parade in downtown International Falls. Snowmobile trails in Minnesota officially open on December 1 and there is snow in the forecast so there may be enough snow to do a little riding
The Minnesota firearms Deer Season opened this past weekend with varied reports of success. The weather has been unusually mild making it a little easier to try and sit patiently in a stand, or to dress down a bit while still hunting. Some hunters have noted they’ve been seeing more ruffed grouse than they believe they flushed early in the small game season, but that’s not an unusual comment.
Meanwhile, only the truly ardent anglers have been heading out on Rainy Lake or Rainy River. The weather is mild, but it’s cool enough to make a boat ride a potentially bone-chilling experience. Walleye can be caught in both the lake and river right now, but most of the reports we’ve heard have been from folks trying to boat a big northern pike because they are very aggressive at this time of year. While they’ve been catching some while trolling large crankbaits, they are not pulling in the really big ones.
The International Falls Chamber of Commerce is now working on organizing the annual “Twas the Lights Before Christmas” parade set for Friday, November 27th at 6pm. A Christmas Parade in Fort Frances will be staged the following Saturday at 5:30pm. The International Falls parade will proceed down 3rd Street and the Fort Frances parade will go down Scott Street