Don’t pass up the attractions nearest to us

I sometimes think that as a resident of the Rainy River district that I have not taken enough time to be a home tourist.
I suspect that many of us are that way.
As a family, we travelled to Winnipeg to take in the various museums and art galleries.
We headed south and visited the Historical Forestry camp in Grand Rapids, and the Minnesota Mining Museum in Chisholm with the kids.
We never travelled to Ely to see the wolves. Our trips came during the off-summer season destination.
Yet it was only last year that my wife and I visited the Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Historical Centre.
Full of history and culture and wonderful trails to walk, we spent an entire afternoon enjoying this wonderful attraction and scenery.
One could fill several weekends discovering our history by visiting the district’s museums and learning more about the people who shaped where we live.
If we stop and consider places to visit, they include the Fort Frances Museum with its exhibits both downtown and the Hallett logging boat and lookout tower located at the Sorting Gap Marina.
Just west of Fort Frances is the Rainy River District Women’s Institute Museum in Emo that features pioneer artifacts of the early pioneers of the Rainy River District.
One can then travel west to Barwick and take in the museum located on the main street there with its collection of early district artifacts.
After visiting the museum, a leisurely stroll down the street brings you to the water’s edge with its lighthouse marking a time when travel to the district was not by road or rail, but by steamship that connected Rat Portage (Kenora) to Fort Frances.
Moving on to Rainy River, one can climb aboard the steam engine 4008 at the Railroad Heritage Museum, or wander through the caboose or railway car. All are located next to the Rainy River Railroad station.
Travelling north you can visit the Northern Ontario Sportfishing centre located in the middle of Sioux Narrows.
Throughout the district are numerous picnic areas, parks and camp grounds.
A picnic lunch packed in the morning or a stop at any number of community restaurants will keep your energy up.
The district has much to offer–from pow-wows to fishing tournaments to community festivals.
All too often we pass up the attractions nearest to us thinking that we will get to them one day, just as residents in large cities don’t find the time to take in the attractions in their communities.

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