St. Croix National Scenic Riverway

The St. Croix River Valley has long been home to Native Americans including Dakota, Ojibwe, Ho-Chunk and Menominee tribes.

As Europeans began to settle in the area, logging became a huge industry. Dams were constructed to float logs over falls and through narrows to the mills. A boom economy was created by the logging industry in this area, resulting in the establishment of many towns and mills along the river. But the timber did not last, and in 1914 log drives ended on the St. Croix.

The Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway was one of the first areas designated under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. The Lower St. Croix, the riverway below Stillwater, was added in 1972.

The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway is a unit of the National Park Service located on the Namekagon and St. Croix Rivers. The riverway includes the two rivers and the riparian (riverbank) areas. Most of the National Riverway occupies the boundary between Wisconsin and Minnesota. The St. Croix Riverway could possibly be the most undeveloped riverway in the entire Upper Mississippi River Area. Two hundred and fifty-two miles of river environment have been preserved as part of the National Wild and Scenic System. The riverway is maintained and managed by three main organizations; the National Park Service, and the Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources.

The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway offers many programs to schools and to the public dealing with the wildlife, history, ecosystem, and resource management.

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Latitude: 45.865936 Longitude: -92.757812
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Amy Miller

Recreational Opportunities

Canoeing, kayaking, hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing.

Seasons Accessible

The rivers are open year-round and ready for you to explore.

-High water conditions may require rangers to close stretches of the rivers. Watch for alerts and check the current conditions.
-Winter snows often limit access to landings, trails, and campsites.
-Quiets hours are from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am.


There are no entrance fees or user fees on federal lands. You can use the 60 landings, the 100+ riverside campsites, the 7 hiking trails, the 2 visitor centers, and the 255 miles of river for free.

Accessibility Notes

The St. Croix Visitor Center at St. Croix Falls and the Namekagon Visitor Center at Trego are both accessible with exhibits, restrooms and a movie. Open caption, audio descriptions and assisted listening devices are available for the movie.

Many picnic areas at landings have accessible picnic tables and vault toilets. Osceola Landing: across the river from Osceola, Wisconsin, has accessible picnic shelters, paths, drinking fountains, and toilets.

Canoeing and camping along the Riverway is possible for most individuals with disabilities if they have assistance.

For specific questions contact Riverway staff by e-mail or call 715-483-2274.

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