The rivers are running high and fast and the water is cold. Be prepared and cautious if venturing out on the rivers! Watch for debris and low clearance under bridges.
Beginning in 2013, water will no longer be available at McDowell Bridge Landing, Riverside Landing, and the Marshland District Office on Highway 70. Please plan accordingly and bring an adequate supply of water.
Interstate Parks to Osceola Landing
At the beginning of this section of river, explore the St. Croix Dalles. The Dalles is a deep gorge of basaltic rock formed thousands of years ago. This area has been the site of many historic events from steamboat building to giant log jams of the lumber era. Below the Dalles the river widens into a sandy and mixed gravel substrate with vast mussel beds below the water. About two miles south of the Wisconsin Interstate State Park another set of basaltic cliffs rise from the water and offer a one last chance at a scenic paddle beneath steep rock walls. Note that it is illegal to dive or jump from these or any other cliffs along the St. Croix.
During periods of good precipitation, a paddle through Close's Slough, past Franconia Landing, offers opportunities for solitude in wooded floodplains. There is plenty of wildlife to be seen and hidden lakes to be explored. On the main channel the substrate is sandy with a multitude of sand bars for a relaxing stop. At the end of this stretch, the Osceola Bridge comes into view and picturesque bluffs rise alongside it. Just past the bridge on the Minnesota side of the river is Osceola Landing.
Camping: If camping along this section of river, a camping permit is required.
River-Level Consideration: This section of river can be floated spring through fall wiht east paddling and little dragging. Motorized boats should use caution during periods of low water. Consult River Levels page for information about current conditions.
Along the way:
7 campsites (1 group campsite at Eagle's Nest)
1 River Landing - Franconia
Potable Water at Minnesota and Wisconsin Interstate Park, Eagle's Nest and Osceola Landing.
Multi-Day Extension: Combining this stretch with the section of river below Osceola Landing make for an easy 2 to 3 day trip, with relatively flat water the entire distance. Special camping regulations exist on the St. Croix between U.S. Highway 8 and the Soo Line High Bridge.
Return to Ranger Recommended Paddles
Did You Know?
The Old Man of the Dalles is one of the many features visitors can see looking at the rocks in the Dalles, or rocky gorge, of the St. Croix River. A great way to view these rocky features, as well as St. Croix NSR, is from the water in a boat or a canoe.