International Falls Live Cam

Looks North over Rainy Lake to Ontario


Hosted by:
  • Camp Idlewood
  • 3033 County Road 20 - International Falls
  • Minnesota 56649-8702 - United States
  • (218)286-5551
  • [email protected]


International Falls is a city located in Koochiching County, Minnesota, United States. It is situated on the Rainy River, which forms the border between the United States and Canada. Here are some key points about the history of International Falls:

Early Settlement: The area that is now International Falls was originally inhabited by Native American Ojibwe people. European settlers began arriving in the late 19th century, attracted by the natural resources and opportunities for logging and trading.

Logging Industry: The logging industry played a crucial role in the early development of International Falls. The vast forests in the region provided abundant timber resources. The city's growth was closely tied to the timber industry, with numerous sawmills and logging operations contributing to its economic prosperity.

City Establishment: International Falls was officially incorporated as a city on August 10, 1901. The name "International Falls" is said to reflect the city's location at the international border between the United States and Canada.

Paper Industry: In the early 20th century, the city's economy shifted towards the paper industry. The construction of paper mills, such as the Koochiching Paper Company in 1910, became a significant driver of economic activity in International Falls. The paper industry has remained an essential part of the local economy.

Climate and "Icebox of the Nation": International Falls is known for its extremely cold winters. The city earned the nickname "Icebox of the Nation" due to its consistently low winter temperatures. This climatic characteristic has become a point of pride for the community and is celebrated annually with the Icebox Days festival.

International Border: The Rainy River, which flows along the northern edge of International Falls, serves as the international border between the United States and Canada. The nearby town of Fort Frances in Ontario, Canada, is just across the river.

Tourism: The scenic beauty of the area, including Rainy Lake and Voyageurs National Park, has contributed to the development of tourism in International Falls. Outdoor recreational activities, such as fishing, boating, and snowmobiling, attract visitors throughout the year.

Economic Challenges: Like many other industrial towns, International Falls has faced economic challenges over the years. Changes in the paper industry and market dynamics have led to fluctuations in the local economy. Efforts to diversify the economic base and promote tourism have been ongoing.

International Falls continues to be an important regional center with a unique history shaped by its natural resources, location at the international border, and industrial development.

Top Tourist Attractions

International Falls and the surrounding area offer a variety of outdoor and recreational activities for visitors. Here are some top tourist attractions in and around International Falls:

  • Voyageurs National Park: Located just west of International Falls, Voyageurs National Park is a stunning wilderness area with interconnected waterways, forests, and abundant wildlife. Visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, hiking, and wildlife watching in this pristine natural setting.
  • Rainy Lake: This large and picturesque lake, which straddles the U.S.-Canada border, is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and other water activities. There are several resorts and marinas around Rainy Lake that cater to outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Kabetogama Lake: Another scenic lake within Voyageurs National Park, Kabetogama Lake offers opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and wildlife viewing. The park's pristine lakes and forests make it a haven for nature lovers.
  • Ash River Visitor Center: Within Voyageurs National Park, the Ash River Visitor Center provides information about the park's natural and cultural history. It's a great starting point for exploring the park and its various attractions.
  • Bronko Nagurski Museum: Located in International Falls, this museum is dedicated to the life and career of Bronko Nagurski, a legendary professional football player. The museum showcases memorabilia, exhibits, and artifacts related to Nagurski's achievements.
  • Icebox Days: This annual winter festival celebrates International Falls' reputation as the "Icebox of the Nation." The event includes activities like ice sculpting, a frozen 5K run, a fishing derby, and the "Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run."
  • Smokey Bear Park: This park, located in International Falls, is home to the iconic Smokey Bear statue. It's a great spot for a picnic and offers a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
  • Falls Memorial Park: Overlooking the Rainy River, Falls Memorial Park provides a scenic setting for picnics and leisurely walks. The park features memorials and monuments dedicated to veterans.
  • White Otter Castle: A bit farther from International Falls, White Otter Castle is a historic log cabin built by hand in the early 20th century by a hermit named James Alexander McOuat. The castle is accessible by boat and offers a glimpse into the region's history.
  • International Falls Sculpture Walk: Take a stroll through downtown International Falls to enjoy the outdoor sculptures created by local and regional artists. The Sculpture Walk adds a touch of artistry to the cityscape.

These attractions showcase the natural beauty, outdoor activities, and cultural offerings of International Falls and the surrounding area, making it a great destination for those seeking a combination of adventure and relaxation.


International Falls is known for its extreme winter temperatures, earning it the nickname "Icebox of the Nation." The city experiences a continental climate characterized by cold winters and warm summers. Here are the key features of the climate in International Falls:

  • Winter: Winters in International Falls are long, harsh, and extremely cold. The city often sees temperatures well below freezing, with January being the coldest month. Average lows can reach -20°F (-29°C) or even colder, and it is not uncommon for temperatures to drop below -40°F (-40°C). Snowfall is significant during the winter months, contributing to the area's winter wonderland reputation.
  • Summer: Summers in International Falls are relatively short and warm. July is typically the warmest month, with average high temperatures ranging from 75°F to 80°F (24°C to 27°C). Summer temperatures can occasionally reach into the 90s°F (32°C), providing a pleasant contrast to the frigid winters.
  • Precipitation: International Falls receives a moderate amount of precipitation throughout the year. While summers tend to be wetter, with occasional thunderstorms, winters bring drier conditions. The annual snowfall is substantial, contributing to the winter landscape and providing opportunities for winter sports.
  • Freezing Rain: Freezing rain can occur during the transitional seasons, posing challenges for travel and infrastructure. Ice storms may occur when rain falls and freezes upon contact with cold surfaces, creating hazardous conditions.
  • Wind: International Falls can experience strong winds, especially during winter storms. Wind chill can make the already cold temperatures feel even colder, emphasizing the need for residents and visitors to take precautions against extreme cold.

It's important to note that the extreme cold temperatures in International Falls are not only due to its northern location but are also influenced by factors such as its proximity to large bodies of water and the prevalence of Arctic air masses during the winter. Despite the challenging winter conditions, the area's natural beauty, outdoor activities, and the unique experience of a true winter climate make International Falls a destination for those who appreciate winter sports and a serene, snowy landscape.

  • Location: International Falls is situated in the northern part of Minnesota, near the Canadian border. The city is located on the Rainy River, which forms the international boundary between the United States and Canada. It is directly across from the town of Fort Frances in Ontario, Canada.
  • Terrain: The terrain around International Falls is characterized by a mix of forests, lakes, and rivers. The region is part of the Canadian Shield, a large geological formation known for its ancient rocks and rugged landscape. This landscape provides the backdrop for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and boating.
  • Water Features: The Rainy River, which runs along the northern edge of International Falls, is a significant water feature. The city is also in close proximity to Rainy Lake and Kabetogama Lake, both of which are part of Voyageurs National Park. These lakes, along with numerous smaller bodies of water, contribute to the area's scenic beauty and recreational opportunities.
  • Voyageurs National Park: International Falls is near the western entrance of Voyageurs National Park, a vast wilderness area known for its interconnected waterways, dense forests, and diverse wildlife. The park spans the border between the United States and Canada and offers opportunities for boating, fishing, camping, and hiking.
  • Climate Influence: The geography of International Falls plays a significant role in its climate, characterized by cold winters and warm summers. Its location in the northern part of the continent, proximity to large bodies of water, and the influence of Arctic air masses contribute to the area's extreme winter temperatures.
  • International Border: The Rainy River serves as the natural boundary between the United States and Canada. The nearby Fort Frances in Ontario is accessible from International Falls via the international bridge, facilitating cross-border travel.
  • Urban Layout: The city itself is laid out along the Rainy River and is known for its parks, including Falls Memorial Park, which provides scenic views of the river. The downtown area has shops, restaurants, and cultural amenities.

Overall, International Falls is situated in a region with a rich natural environment, offering residents and visitors access to a variety of outdoor activities amid a northern wilderness setting. The combination of the city's geographical features and its connection to the international border contributes to its unique character.

The friendliest border in the world

We invite you to do business in one of the most family and business friendly rural communities in Minnesota!

Wood products and tourism industries dominate our economy. Boise Cascade Corporation employs 1,150 people, plus creates spin-off jobs for loggers and transporters. Because Boise Cascade is one of the safest and competitive mills in the world, we forecast a bright future for the wood products industry.

The tourism industry is steadily growing and employs hundreds of citizens in service positions. Presently, elected leaders are working diligently to establish a "Voyageur Interpretive Center" to complement our beautiful Voyageurs National Park. Rainy Lake serves as the northern gateway to the park.

Cold weather testing is imperative to our winter economy and is an area projected to grow. For over 30 years, engineers from around the world have traveled here to test their products during our extreme winters, providing jobs and injecting dollars into the economy. Elected leaders are in the midst of designing a state of the art testing facility which will prove to be one of the best centers in the country. When completed, it will lure companies serious about their cold weather initiatives.

Our present telecommunications system includes fiber optic capabilities, and is now being further upgraded to meet or exceed the country's top systems. Such systems will enable businesses to locate in International Falls and do business anywhere in the world with no increased costs. Quality highways, air transportation, bus and rail service make it easy to travel, import and export.

All this, along with being one of the busiest ports into Canada, makes International Falls an ideal rural business community, abounding with opportunities for business, family life and leisure. We invite you to join our family.