Kettle Falls in Voyageurs National Park was part of the historical route of the fur traders. These French Canadians transported furs and other goods by canoe through the waters along the US-Canadian border.
But don’t spend too much time looking for a waterfall. A dam at Kettle Falls was built between 1910 and 1914. It controls the flow of water between Rainy Lake and Namakan Lake. Before the dam, there was a small waterfall on the site.
Guests can see the Voyageurs’ route and the dam from the viewing platforms.
The US-Canadian border runs through the middle of the dam.
Kettle Fall is a rather peculiar place. It is one of the few spots where the US is actually north of Canada!
Kettle Falls Hotel
Lodging is available at the site. Kettle Falls Hotel was completed in 1913. There is also a restaurant and a small store.
Visitors can relax on the screened-in veranda.
Services are seasonal and only available from May through September.
Boaters can use portage services to move between Namakan and Rainy Lakes.
If you look up the address for the Kettle Falls Hotel, it is 12977 Chippewa Trail, Kabetogama, MN 56669. However, this is a bit misleading since you can only get there by boat or float plane.
The hotel offers transportation for overnight guests.
Day visitors can book a tour from either Kabetogama Lake or Rainy Lake Visitor Centers through a National Park Service vendor. Each tour is around 6 hours.
We rented a boat from our resort, the Pines of Kabetogama. It took about 2 hours to get there from there (without rushing).
Dock space is available at Kettle Falls for guests arriving on their own.
If you’re traveling to Voyageurs National Park, consider visiting Kettle Falls. See the route traversed by the fur traders over 200 years ago and enjoy the peace and quiet found in this corner of the park.
Visiting Voyageurs? Check out Voyageurs Ellsworth Rock Gardens.
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