Difficulty I-II
Length 77 Miles
Gauge ST. CROIX RIVER NEAR DANBURY, WI
Flow Range 1000 - 5000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 2520 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 04/02/2019 10:50 am

River Description


The St. Croix was designated as one of the original 8 Wild and Scenic Rivers in 1968 as part of the St. Croix Wild and Scenic River. Formal access points are provided every few miles at bridge crossings and parks along the river, some of which provide overnight camping. Despite the number of access points that make it easy to customize a trip to fit your skills and time avaialable, the river still retains its wild character. Along the river designated camp sites (small 8 person sites and large 16 person sites) serve river runners with fire rings and pit toilets. The available campsites can get full on summer weekends.
 
Most use open canoes for trips on the river and while much of the run is flatwater there are some easy class II rapids that require manuvering particularly in the section from Nelsons Landing to Soderbeck Landing. The river is administered by the National Park Service which provides additional information on rules and regulations along with detailed maps and advice on how to enjoy your trip:
 

St. Croix National Scenic Riverway

Sections of the river between Riverside Landing and St. Croix Falls include the following:

1) Riverside to Thayers Landing (13.4 miles, class I)

Most of this section is scenic flatwater with a couple of campsites.

Ginger Island signals the start of State Line Rapids, an easy rapid down the right channel around the island. From this point until the mouth of the river, the St. Croix River forms the Minnesota/Wisconsin border.

Paddlers are advised to stay to the river left side of the channel at the ledge just upstream of the MN-48/WI-77 bridge just above Thayers Landing.

2) Thayers Landing to Norway Point (14.3 miles, class I)

This section of river is flatwater that passes through the St. Croix State Park and Governor Knowles State Forest with a few river campsites as well as opportunities to camp in a developed campground.

3) Norway Point to Soderbeck Landing (10.4 miles, class I/II)

Numerous minor rapids (class I-II) populate this reach. Many large islands split the flow, effectively making this two separate trips.

Some river descriptions suggest 'swapping streams', starting in the left channel for 2.5 miles, then (just past "Fox Landing") dragging a half mile up a 'cut-through' channel to swap over to the right channel for the better rapids in its lower reaches.

There are a few campsites along this section.

4) Soderbeck Landing to Nevers Dam Landing (29.8 miles, class I)

This flatwater section of the river is noticeably wider and than the sections upstream of the Kettle River confluence. The dramatic Sandrock Cliffs are found near river mile 91 on river left.

The Nevers Dam, which was originally constructed in 1890 to manage log transport was removed in the mid 1950s.

There are a few river-based campsites and some of the river access points provide camping.

5) Nevers Dam Landing to St. Croix Falls Dam (9.3 miles, class (I)

This section of the river is classified as recreational, in constrast to the scenic-classified sections upstream. There are several campsites along this section of river.

While this reach is now characterized by flatwaters that was not always the case. The Falls of the St. Croix River was a series of cascades dropping 55 feet in less than six miles that was impounded by the St. Croix Falls Dam in 1907. While the dam produces hydropower, restoring this stretch of river would add dramatically change the character of this section of the river.

River runners can continue downstream on the St. Croix River by portaging the hydropower dam on river right.

Rapid Descriptions

State Line Rapids

Class - I Mile - -129.5
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Main rapids are down the right side of Ginger Island and are class I riffles.

Lower Tamarack Landing

Class - N/A Mile - -119.8
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Canoe access on river right at the end of Old Ferry Road.

Ledge Drop

Class - I Mile - -118.4
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Stay to river left to avoid the ledge.

Thayers Landing

Class - N/A Mile - -118.3
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Access with ramp and toilet on downstream river left side of the MI-48/WI-77 bridge.

Little Yellow Banks Landing

Class - N/A Mile - -111.2
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Access in St. Croix State Park on river right with camping, picnic area, water, toilets, and canoe access.

St. Croix State Park Main Landing

Class - N/A Mile - -108.5
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Fee site in St. Croix State Park on river right with developed campground, picnic area, toilet, water, visitor information, and canoe access.

Sand Creek Landing

Class - N/A Mile - -104.7
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Canoe access on river right with toilets, picnic area, and drinking water.

Norway Point Landing

Class - N/A Mile - -104
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Boat ramp on river left with toilet, camping, and picnic area.

Nelsons Landing

Class - N/A Mile - -101.4
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Boat ramp on river left with picnic area, camping, and toilet.

Pike Rapids

Class - I Mile - -100.9
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A short easy class I rapid before the river splits into two channels.

Head of the Rapids Landing

Class - N/A Mile - -100.6
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Canoe access on river right at the head of Kettle River Slough with camping, toilets, and drinking water.

Big Beef Rapids

Class - II Mile - -100.4
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An easy rapid on the river left channel.

Upper Kettle Rapids

Class - I Mile - -100.2
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Rapid on the Kettle River Slough Channel.

Fox Landing

Class - N/A Mile - -99.3
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Unpaved boat ramp on river left.

Lower Kettle Rapids

Class - I Mile - -97.9
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Rapid on the Kettle River Slough Channel.

August Olson Rapids

Class - II Mile - -96.8
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Easy rapid that begins upstream of where the Kettle River Slough and St. Croix main channel join and continues on downstream of where they come together.

Snake River Landing

Class - N/A Mile - -93.6
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Boat ramp on river right with picnic area, camping, and toilet.

Soderbeck Landing

Class - N/A Mile - -93.6
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Boat ramp on river left with toilet and picnic area.

Sandrock Cliffs

Class - N/A Mile - -91.3
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Access to the Sandrock Cliffs trail on river left with camping, toilet, and picnic area.

Highway 70 Landing

Class - N/A Mile - -89.7
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Boat ramp on the river left upstream side of the bridge with toilet and access to Sandrock Cliffs Trail on the upstream river left side of the bridge. DNR St. Croix Campground provides a developed campground on the downstream river left side of the bridge.

Raspberry Landing

Class - N/A Mile - -88.3
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Boat ramp on river left.

Stevens Creek Landing

Class - N/A Mile - -84.8
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Boat ramp on river right with toilet.

Old Railroad Bridge Rapid

Class - N/A Mile - -82
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Unpaved ramp on river right with camping.

Rush City Ferry Landing

Class - N/A Mile - -80.4
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Boat ramp on river right.

County Road O Landing

Class - N/A Mile - -80.4
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Boat ramp on river left with toilet, camping, and picnic area.

Sunrise River Landing

Class - N/A Mile - -71.8
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Boat ramp on river right with toilet and drinking water.

Sunrise Ferry Landing

Class - N/A Mile - -71.8
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River left canoe access with toilet and Sunrise Landing Campground immediately upstream of the access point.

Nevers Dam Landing

Class - N/A Mile - -63.8
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Boat ramp on river left with toilet and picnic area. This is the boundary of the Scenic and Recreational sections of the river.

Wild River Landing

Class - N/A Mile - -62.8
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Boat ramp on river right with picnic area, water, visitor information, campground, and toilet at Wild River State Park.

Lion's Park Landing (right)

Class - N/A Mile - -54.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

River right boat ramp with picnic area, water, and toilet.

Lions Park Landing (left)

Class - N/A Mile - -54.5
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Boat ramp on river left with toilet, water, and picnic area. St. Croix River Visitor Center on river left less than a mile downstream.

Comments

default user thumbnail
Bruce Bradshaw
|
15 years ago

Here are the NPS's waypoints versus river miles.

Grid,Lat/Lon hddd.ddddd

Gage Descriptions

Gage referenced for this reach is at the start of this section. Note: Many maps may show a gaging station at Norway Point. This gage has been inactive since 1970.
 

Directions Description


We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

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News

article main photo

Penobscot River Dams to be Removed!

12/1/2003
Kevin Colburn

Atlantic Salmon and other imperiled fish species will soon have hundreds of additional miles of habitat. A recent decision between a power company, NGO's, tribes, and government agencies calls for the removal of two dams on Maine's Penobscot River and the bypassing of a third. American Whitewater applauds this huge win for rivers and is recruiting volunteers to assist with our work on the project. There is a public meeting December 2nd.
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Rob

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Thomas O'Keefe

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Matt Muir

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1195070 05/27/09 Rob
1208566 12/10/17 Thomas O'Keefe minor edits
1208567 12/10/17 Thomas O'Keefe minor edits
1211806 04/02/19 Thomas O'Keefe updated image position
1211668 04/02/19 Thomas O'Keefe updated image position
1208583 12/13/17 Thomas O'Keefe
1192628 08/25/04 n/a n/a