We drove from Saginaw, MN to the Pines of Kabetogama Resort outside of Voyageurs National Park on Kabetogama Lake.
After getting settled and taking a quick rest, we drove Into our 34th National Park--Voyageurs National Park and hiked a 3 trail called the Echo Bay Trail. It was the worse trail we’ve ever hiked! The trail was mostly uncut tall grass with horseflies and bugs all around us. All the visitorss' centers in the park are closed because of COVID-19, so I guess the maintenance crews aren’t working either.
When we got back to the campground, Ben used the kayak and paddle board to enjoy the lake.
Although Ben had no trouble gliding through the water, I didn’t actually try paddle boarding because I was afraid I might fall off into the COLD water!
On Friday morning we drove to International Falls which is located on the Rainy River directly across from Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada. There is a major U.S. Customs and Border Protection Port of Entry on the International Falls side of the toll bridge and a Canadian Customs entry point on the north side of the bridge.
When Tom planned this trip in January, we were supposed to be coming back into the US here in International Falls after spending eight days driving above Lake Superior on the Canadian side. Unfortunately, that part of the trip didn’t happened and was replaced by our driving across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota to get back to this location. The border into Canada is still closed because of COVID.
We were finally able to get a Welcome to Minnesota picture in International Falls for the tourists coming from Canada. When we entered the state near Duluth, the sign was by the bridge over Lake Superior and we could not stop for our photo opportunity.
International Falls is nicknamed the "Icebox of the Nation,” with an average of 109.4 days per year with a high temperature below 32 °F.
This is statue of Smokey Bear is the largest of its kind in the nation. This 26’ foot replica of “Smokey,” the national symbol of forest protection, was erected in 1953.
Bicycling the Rainy Day Trail
We road bicycles into the Rainy Lake section of Voyageurs National Park from International Falls and stopped for an ice cream break at the town of Ranier, located directly on Rainy Lake also.
Since the trail was 11 miles long one way and we would have to ride back to return to the car, I rode the first 4.5 miles with Tom and Ben and then rode back to where we parked the car while they continued riding to the end. The trail was not well marked and they ended up riding two miles uphill in the wrong direction, but I found them and picked them up in the car.
Voyageurs is definitely a water-based natural park. We saw a huge number of parked trucks with empty boat trailers. Also, houseboats with slides could be rented by the week or for a three day minimum.
Sunset over Lake Kabetogama at our campground.