Rainy Lake resides on the border of Canada and the U.S. so there are some things you may need to know before crossing between them.
Canadian Border Crossing Requirements
Straddling the border of the United States and Canada, Rainy Lake provides the opportunity for visitors to explore a foreign country. Although it’s not a difficult process to cross the US/Canadian border, some documentation is required and knowing what you need ahead of time can speed the process.
Crossing the Bridge
To get to Canada, you simply drive or walk across the International Bridge from International Falls to its sister city, Fort Frances, Ontario. Keep in mind, there is a toll bridge of $7 for vehicles crossing the bridge. If you plan on crossing frequently throughout your stay, you can find a discounted border crossing card at local grocery stores and gas stations. If driving, you will need to provide a driver’s license as well as vehicle registration. Border officials are always on the lookout for stolen vehicles or people trying to avoid duties on vehicles purchased out of country. Traveling in a rental car requires additional documentation, which you can learn more about at ezbordercrossing.com.
When you approach the officer, it's best to remove sunglasses and roll down your windows (including back windows if there are passengers sitting in back seats).
Although it’s not required, a passport is strongly recommended when crossing from the U.S. into Canada. In lieu of a passport, you will need to provide other documentation such as a birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization, or a Certificate of Indian Status, plus a photo ID.
Entering the United States
One thing to understand about traveling to Canada is that the requirements to enter the U.S. are stricter than those to enter Canada. A good rule of thumb, therefore, is to follow the U.S. requirements, which will ensure you are also covered for Canadian travel.
When arriving by land or water you must present one of the following to enter the United States:
Traveling with Children
In addition to theft, fraud and other crimes, customs officers are vigilant about preventing child abduction. Therefore, when traveling with children, you may be asked for additional information.
Children under age 16 may enter the U.S. or Canada using one of the following:
Be aware that customs officers may question kids old enough to speak for themselves. Prepare them in advance to talk to the officials and explain to them how this helps protect children from abduction. There are additional requirements for children traveling with only one parent. For more information, visit ezbordercrossing.com.
Visiting Canada can be a memorable part of your trip to Rainy Lake. Being prepared ahead of time helps ensure your border crossing will take only minutes, giving you more time to get to know our neighbors to the North.
If you find you are not able to enter Canada, you can still view Canada from International Falls. Plus, International Falls is the gateway community to Voyageurs National Park. There are plenty of reasons to stay and enjoy the activities on the U.S. side.
If you have any questions, our team can help you prepare and plan for your Rainy Lake vacation. Give us a call at (218) 283-9400 or visit our office before you cross at 301 2nd Avenue
Local stakeholders and supporters Friday joined development partners to celebrate the launch of The Cantilever Hotel and Distillery – a 31-room boutique hotel, cocktail room and distillery.
Developer Marty Goulet kicked off the ceremony by talking about the positive momentum in Ranier and the motives for the development in the community.
“There is a reason we are having this event at Loony’s Brew Pub and Rainy Lake Grill is catering the event, they are both part of the positive story that is unfolding and the momentum that allowed our development team to make this investment in the community,” said Goulet. "The approximate 100-invited guests in attendance received an inside look into the project, an introduction to the first two Cantilever employees, the release of two new brands, followed by a non-traditional ground-breaking ceremonial christening of the site. If you are here today, it is because you have helped or supported and are a part of the Cantilever Hotel and Distillery project.”
The Cantilever Hotel and Distillery, anticipated to open summer 2019, is a new 26,000 square foot boutique hotel and distillery located at 2078 Spruce Street in Ranier. The facility amenities include 31 upscale boutique hotel rooms, state of the art spirits manufacturing plant, cocktail room (only serving Cantilever products), restaurant, private events spaces, rooftop bar with sauna and hot tub, distillery tours, yoga studio, treatment rooms, and electric car charging station.
"A physical location, complete with a tour and tasting, is the biggest marketing asset a distilling company will ever possess," said Goulet. "As such, our distillery will be an extension of the brand. This requires that every element the consumer contacts will reflect the thinking and philosophy of the brand.”
The Cantilever Distilling Co., will offer single malt whiskey, bourbon, and gin made with local peat, local grains, and local water that showcase the skill and expertise of the distiller. The Cantilever Bridge located only feet away from the distillery is symbolic of the bootlegging history and connection between Canada and the U.S.
Released publicly for the first time Friday, Woody’s Fairly Reliable Spirits Co., will produce honest, reliable spirits and premium canned cocktails that are focused on lake life and the outdoor lifestyle. These products will be known for premium quality with affordable pricing so that that they can over-deliver on taste and price while always considering lake lifestyle.
“We are excited to announce for the first time with the personality of Ranier's own Barry "Woody" Woods – Woody’s Fairly Reliable Spirits," said Goulet.
General Manager Ed Gackley announced a partnership with Wyndham Hotels’ Trademark Collection Brand.
“The Cantilever Bridge Hotel – a trademark collection allows us to leverage the benefits of being associated with a world class hotel franchise while keeping total independence," said Gackley. He also introduced distiller Charlie Fuller who expressed his excitement for the project.
Developer Duane Cridland revealed the first artwork for the distillery called “Busted 1932” by Cher Pruys. In 1932, a train crossing the Cantilever Bridge with 79 barrels of Canadian whiskey was seized and destroyed in a public ceremony before it could reach its destination in Chicago. The artwork depicts the event and the locals who showed up to get a taste but were prohibited to use any cups or containers and resorted to slurping it off the ice.
Participants later Friday went outside to the site of the new hotel and distillery. Mayor Dennis Wagner, Hall of Fame Fishing Guide Woody and the Director of the Koochiching County Economic Development Agency Paul Nevanen, each took a swing with the ceremonial golden ax and attempted to break a barrel of whiskey. After a few attempts with the ax, the liquid from the barrel was released and the site christened.
Back inside Loony’s, developer Pat Bracken walked the attendees through an inside look at Cantilever’s first bourbon, explaining the mash bill (recipe) and finishing with a toast.
Mark Twain once said, “too much of anything is bad, but too much whiskey is barely enough."
Learn more about the Cantilever Story!
Exploring Rainy River
The Rainy River forms part of the border between Minnesota and Ontario and is a haven for anglers and boaters of all stripes. Perhaps best known for fishing, the river is one of the world’s top destinations for premiere walleye fishing each spring and is also home to other game fish. In addition to anglers, canoers and kayakers enjoy Rainy River’s numerous access points along its 85-mile route, and its many resorts provide a welcome rest regardless of the day’s activities.
Flowing from approximately the west end of Rainy Lake and the communities of International Falls, MN and Fort Frances, ON, the river travels west-northwest to Baudette, MN, and Rainy River, ON, then enters Four Mile Bay on Lake of the Woods.
Rainy River’s watershed is largely forested and composed of peatland and bogs that were part of Lake Agassiz 10,000 years ago. In the past, its waters were used by fur traders, lumber mills and commercial fishing boats.
Rainy River is counted among the finest fishing destinations in America. Each spring, resident walleyes flood the waterway, offering anglers the chance to land a “lunker.” The early fishing season runs approximately early March through mid-April (check the MN DNR website for exact dates each year). Though walleye is the river’s premier gamefish species, anglers also target sturgeon, smallmouth bass and northern pike. Notable Rainy River catches include a 35.1-inch walleye (released) and a 100-plus pound sturgeon (also released).
Because Rainy River is between the U.S. and Canada, anglers who plan to fish the Canadian side of the river must have a valid Ontario fishing license, as well as an Outdoors Card and a Remote Area Border Crossing permit.
U.S. Rainy River Access Points
Multiple access points mean options abound for exploring Rainy River. Camping is not allowed at the following boat launch sites unless otherwise noted.