Rainy Lake, 932 km2 (741 km2 in Canada), elev 338 m, is located in rough woodlands astride the Ont-Minn border, 240 km W of Lk Superior. It discharges into the Rainy R, which flows W along the border to LK OF THE WOODS. Originally inhabited by Cree and Assiniboine, the lake was first visited by Jacques de Noyon in 1688. The explorer Pierre LA VÉRENDRYE ordered a post built at the western end in 1731. The lake was located on the well-travelled FUR-TRADE ROUTE to the northwest. Later, logging and the pulp-and-paper industry were important. FORT FRANCES, the lake's main settlement, is located at a waterfall where the river leaves the lake.