Corbitt's National Parks
    Saint Croix
                 National Scenic Riverway



1968: National Scenic Riverway

Size: 92,738 acres

2008 visitors: 523,595

Stamp: ?

Rating (1-5): Unrated

About the Site

Green trees shade the calm waters of the St. Croix River in northern Wisconsin. 252 miles of the St. Croix and Namekagon rivers are protected in this Park, offering visitors unparalleled canoeing and recreational opportunities. The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 created this narrow band of protection for these wonderful rivers, some of the least spoiled rivers of the upper midwest. This haven provides protection for wildlife, and a chance for visitors to relax and catch a breath. As you canoe your way downstream, look for hints of the river's past -- Dakota, Ojibwe, voyageurs, loggers and settlers have all known this river.

What You're Going to See

Wolves, deer, otter and porcupine can all be seen if you have a keen eye. Woods on bluffs, historic towns, all are visible from the water. The river is home to native species of mussels, dragonflies, and fish. Overhead you'll see osprey, kingfishers, warblers and eagles rule the sky. You may also see otter, bears, and fox peeking through blooming flowers and verdant foilage.

Visitors can enjoy birdwatching, boating, camping, cross-country skiing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, kayaking, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and watching wildlife. There are three visitors centers: the headquarters in St. Croix, Namekagon in Trego, and Marshland in Pine City, Minnesota. There are some activities at the visitor centers for the kids, but apparently no Junior Ranger program.

I love the warnings: Watch for deer ticks, wear life preservers, and bring an extra paddle, insect repellent, and drinking water if you're canoeing.

Personal Observations

Someday ...

Getting There

To the St. Croix visitor center: From St. Paul, take I-35 north about 20 miles to Forest Lake. Go east on US 8 across the river into St. Croix Falls. The visitor center is on the river, one block west of Highway 87, just north of the business district. As of 2005, this center is closed due to mold. They're building a new one.

To the Namekagon visitor center: From St. Paul, take I-35 north about 20 miles to Forest Lake. Go east on US 8 across the river into St. Croix Falls. Continue on another 24 miles to Turtle Lake. Take US 63 north for 42 miles to Trego. The center is located near the junction of Highways 53 and 63. Some neat directions, huh?

Nearby Attractions

Some 40 or so miles to the north is Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Across the river in Minnesota is the Mississippi National River & Recreation Area.