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Park Chasers is coming back from a quick overnight camping trip to St. Croix National Scenic Riverway on the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Weather held up our extended paddling plans, but we did get a chance to see the Visitor’s Center, chat with a ranger about the current programs in the park, and of course…collect the passport stamp!

Today we’re sharing our Trip Recap and a planning itinerary for a 2 day trip to St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.  Anyone traveling during the summer months should check out the trip-add ons for a canoe or kayak trip, since paddling is really what this park is all about!

St. Croix National Scenic Riverway

Day 1

From the Twin Cities drive north on the Saint Croix National Scenic Byway to the town of Saint Croix, Wisconsin. Much of the road winds along the river with excellent views of the riverbanks and surrounding wetlands. Check out the Visitor’s Center just a few blocks off of the main street going through town.

Visitor's Center - St. Croix National Scenic Riverway

Visitor’s Center – St. Croix National Scenic Riverway

Chat with a ranger about the best spots to paddle, recent wildlife sightings, and be sure to get the stamp at the ranger counter.  Head north out of Saint Croix, Wisconsin on highway 87 until you reach highway 70. This will take you across the St. Croix River and back into Minnesota.  In Hinkley, Minnesota head east on highway 48. This will take you up to the Saint Croix State Park entrance which will be on your right hand side.

St. Croix National Scenic Riverway Entrance

After you set up camp, hike the River Bluff Trail along the edges of the national river way or hike the Sundance Trail if you prefer a slightly longer but a more of a prairie-type hiking environment.

Shoreline of the St. Croix River

Shoreline of the St. Croix River

 

Day 2

if the weather allows for some time on the river, we highly recommend to hire a paddling outfitter to take you upstream for a day on the water. Typically these vendors drop you off along the river your according to your desired trip length. Several different drop off points allow for 4, 5, or 7+ hour trips.

Springtime at St. Croix National Scenic Riverway

Some outfitters will even plan for 1 and 2 day trips depending on paddling speeds. There are plenty of places on both the Wisconsin and Minnesota shoreline to pull up for the night and camp in a paddle-in campsite.

Typical day trips run $30 to $50 for a canoe and transportation for 2. Weather in the area can change quickly in the area.  It’s best to be prepared for cold and wet weather on the water!

St. Croix National Scenic Riverway 2

For those that prefer to keep their feet on solid ground or if the weather does not allow for paddling, the area has over 100 miles of hiking trails. Hike the Two Rivers Trail in St. Croix State Park where the Kettle River empties into the St. Croix River for an easy to moderate 5 mile hike along some of the most scenic sections of the park.

Panoramic view of the confluence of the Kettle River and the St. Croix River

Panoramic view of the confluence of the Kettle River and the St. Croix River

 

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