La Verendrye Parkway


La Verendrye Parkway

The upper Rainy River has always provided a means for travel, firstly by the First Nations communities who lived in the vicinity, and later by fur traders followed the route to reach the trading posts located below the falls. Before rail and road travel, large boats transported both supplies and newcomers to the area. Businesses such as Russell Brothers set up manufacturing plants along the shores of the river.

In the early 1900s, the sawmills arrived and the river became the transportation system for saw logs and pulp sticks destined for the large milling facilities and the pulp and paper mill. Up until the mid 1970s, the annual spring log boom brought millions of cords of wood to the mill.

Just above the falls, early ferry services provided transportation to our sister city of International Falls. By 1909, the increasing number of visitors precipitated the construction of the International Bridge in 1912.

The excursion boats soon arrived, setting up docks and boathouses for their businesses as the tourism business began to grow. By 1915,Watson and Lloyd had set up as tourist outfitters, and Galbraith offered excursions to camps and as far as the Cascades in the north arm of Rainy Lake.

The walk along the river ends at the site of LaVerendrye Hospital. Named after the explorer, the hospital was established in 1941 by the Grey Nuns of St. Boniface.