Tuesday, April 26, 2016

International Falls City Loop

I was at the Coffee Landing coffee shop in my new hometown of International Falls, when I noticed a stack of neatly folded, glossy brochures on staying active in International Falls. Among the suggestions it contained was a walking route around town called the City Loop. At 5 miles long, I thought a walk of it might serve a dual purpose: get me some exercise and help acquaint me with my new home. Today, I finally had the chance to walk the City Loop.

I brought my handy map
City Loop Map
and began my walk at the Chamber of Commerce. I crossed US-53, the road that led a short distance across a bridge and into Canada, and made my way to the main drag. I walked past some interesting murals painted at Millennium Park
mural 1
mural 2
and through the small downtown business district on 3rd Street. Then, I headed over to Smokey Bear Park
voyageurs plaque
and the Bronko Nigurski Museum.
Bronko Nagurski
I had not planned to stop at the museum, but I wanted to learn a little bit more about International Falls and its most famous resident and so I paid the small admission fee and checked it out.

After checking out the interesting little museum I moved further along the route, passing through some nice neighborhoods and past the very interesting football stadium.
Sports Stadium
I saw a nice looking park that I thought might offer a view of the Rainy River and so I detoured off the official route of the City Loop for a bit. The park was indeed along the river and I admired the views across it to Canada.
Rainy River
Then I saw a faint path leading down to a small stream where water cascaded over some rocks.
small waterfall

After my detour I continued on past the Falls High School and Rainy River Community College on a paved bike trail.
City Loop section
Soon I made a left onto Keenan Drive and passed a large wooded area with some mysterious paths leading into the woods.
powerline trail
When the City Loop crossed 11th Avenue there was no longer any type of footpath or sidewalk. I found it curious that whoever planned the route would have it follow roads without any protected area for pedestrians to walk on. Perhaps there are future plans to pave a footpath? Anyway, I ended up back on US-53 which I followed north back to the Chamber of Commerce and the start of my walk.

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