Lots of people come "up north" to go fishing, but biking enthusiasts are finding some awesome routes in the International Falls area. Distance-wise, there are several options for Beginners to Advanced Cyclists.
For the experienced biker there's the Arrowhead Trail, much of which is available to cyclists. It runs between the Taconite State Trail at Pike River Flowage near Peyla and to 3 miles south of International Falls (east of I-71 near Chapple).
Bikers should be aware that it is possible that some of the trail could be under water, but that's part of the adventure!
For a shorter ride, but still challenging is the 95 mile Blue Ox Trail. This is perfect for the mountain biker. These bikers will share the trail with deer and other wildlife. At it's southern end in Lake Bemidji State Park, the Blue Ox Trail–Voyageur Trail connects to the Paul Bunyan State Trail at County Road 20. The latter, carries on for another 119 miles and is paved. Finally, there is a much shorter, yet beautiful trip that starts in International Falls and continues for about 13 miles ending at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center. This trip combines biking, stopping in Ranier for refreshments and taking advantage of the various historic sites in Voyageurs National Park.
What are you waiting for? Start pedaling!
For more information on trails, visit the DNR site.
The volunteers of the Polar Polers Ski Club from International Falls have invested many hours to complete the new Tilson Creek Bog Walk located near the Rainy Lake public fishing pier on Hwy 11 East of Ranier. The new bog walk is situated on the first .75 miles of the Tilson Ski Trail. There is a resting spot at about the half-way point. The walk is like a floating sidewalk made from boards and is about 6 feet wide making it perfect for runners, walkers or even pushing a stroller.
The bog is an important eco-system supporting a variety of plants including the Tamarack tree (also called the Larch) At first glance, these trees look like other conifers, but they are actually deciduous as they lose their pine-like needles every fall. What makes a bog different from a swamp is bogs are made up of a floating mass of rotting moss resulting in a soil known as peat. The decaying process causes the peat moss to "burp" in the spring time as the moss releases gas into the atmosphere. It is recommended to wear mosquito repellent as the bog is a perfect breeding area for those pesky bugs. Surprisingly, some of the plants in the bog actually capture mosquitoes and other insects with their sticky leaves and are able to break down their capture as a source of nutrient.
The walk does not allow motorized vehicles. More energetic visitors can continue beyond the end of the bog walk into the ski trail system which is clearly marked on the map at the entrance and also along the way.
Check out this newly completed feature of the Voyageurs Park area soon!
They say "time flies when you're having fun." If the length of a day is equivalent to how much fun you can have then June 21 gives the most opportunity for fun! June 21, which is known as the Summer Solstice, is the first official day of Summer. In the Rainy Lake area of Northern Minnesota we consider Memorial Day the "unofficial" start of Summer, and some say Summer starts on fishing opener. That's because we want to stretch the summer season out to pack in as many activities as we can to make up for the long winter days when dark hours exceed the light ones. According to the MN DNR timetable we will enjoy just over 16 hours of daylight on June 21 which is almost twice as much daylight as the shortest day of the year in December. How will you spend the gift of more daylight time?