Are you anxious to get out for a ride now that spring has arrived? You're invited to travel one of our favorites: a great motorcycle loop in the International Falls area will take you through some scenic areas on paved roads that offer some curves and corners and a few nice spots to take a break.
Head west from International Falls on Minnesota 11/US 71 and follow to Pelland Junction where MN 11 will continue west and US 71 turns south.
Stay with MN 11 alongside the Rainy River.
Cross the Little Fork River almost as soon as you head west.
On the right as you approach the bridge is the site of the McKinstry Mounds, a sacred native burial site.
After passing through a rural residential area of Pelland, you will see open farming areas along the Rainy River as you approach the Big Fork River.
At the confluence of the Big Fork and Rainy Rivers there is another sacred native burial ground, it is no longer open to the public, but you can take a break in the parking area of the now defunct interpretive center.
Another option is just ahead where you will find a hiking trail providing a nice view of Rainy River, the trail is clearly signed and there’s room to park, but it will be on hard-pack gravel rather than pavement. The trail is roughly located where Minnesota 11 intersects Koochiching County 1.
Continue the adventure and turn left, or south on Koochiching County 1, also known as the “Lindford” Road. Follow the River south through farmlands and forests until you come to the site of Lindford, where you will again cross the Big Fork River. There will be a small church and cemetery on the north side of the river. This is also a good spot to take stop and soak in the beauty of the Big Fork. On the south side, you will pass a deteriorating building that was once the main gathering spot for the community of Lindford.
Once you get back on the road, you will be heading east toward the community of Littlefork where you will find food and fuel. Koochiching County 1 will meet US 71 just outside of Littlefork, you will want to turn right to go to Litttlefork, then head south on Minnesota 65 and follow the signs.
If you want to skip Littlefork just turn left or north on US 71, which will bring you back to Pelland Junction where you will backtrack on 11/71 to International Falls. This is an easy afternoon exploration that will only take a couple hours depending on the time spent taking breaks.