To provide for the public enjoyment of the Riverway, designated primitive campsites have been established throughout the National Park above the Soo Line High Bridge. Camping is allowed only in officially designated sites and there is a three-night limit on visitor use. All sites are marked with a campsite sign and have a firering. Some have a picnic table and primitive toilets. Most are accessible only by boat or canoe. Drinking water is only available during the summer at some landings. 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. Section maps identify water-well and campsite locations as well as denoting campsite size.
Campsites are available in two sizes:
Please note that over holidays and weekends with ideal weather, desired use may exceed available resources. Do not plan to canoe so late in the day that if your first campsite choice is occupied, that you have no other options.
A free permit is required for camping below Highway 8. From the Soo Line High Bridge to Stillwater, there are no designated campsites, but overnight camping is only allowed on the islands. The Park has specifec regulations for four camping zones, so please check these as you plan your trip. However, the basics of camping in the park are as follows...
An Important Message About Toilets
Below Highway 8, toilets are only provided at Eagle's Nest Campground (s48.5). Elsewhere portable toilets must be packed in and out and used. Commercial models exist that can be carried by boat, canoe, or kayak.
NPS Photo Collection
Tips for Camping along the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway
Remember to leave a clean, litter free, undamaged campsite so the next visitor will have a pleasant experience. The Camping Brochure provides similar information.
The entire Namekagon and St. Croix River north of Nevers Dam requires camping only at designated sites, with a three-night limit at each campsite. While campsites are located at fairly regular intervals along most parts of both rivers, there are few campsites on the St. Croix between Riverside Landing and Norway Landing, due to extensive swamps. If your trip will include an overnight stay along this stretch, it would be wise to make arrangements to camp at St. Croix State Park by calling 320-384-6591 or http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/reservations.html
Between Nevers Dam and Highway 8 designated campsites have a three-night limit. Houseboaters are allowed to tie-up to shore anywhere on the flowage behind the dam at St. Croix Falls for an overnight stay. Houseboats or other self-contained vessels may tie up for night anchorage anywhere along the shoreline except at designated campsites and on private property. Passengers on self contained vessels must use on-board toilet facilities and may not build campfires or erect tents on the shore.
Highway 8 to Soo Line High Bridge has designated camp sites and a three night limit. Toilets are only provided at Eagle's Nest Campground,elsewhere portable toilets must be packed in and out and used. A free camping permit is required. For more information...
Soo Line High Bridge to Stillwater has few designated campsites. Camping is only allowed on islands in this zone. There is a seven-night limit at any site along this stretch of the river.
Camping options don't seem to work: If you are a group of more than 16 people or if you want to enjoy riverside camping without paddling, please call the St. Croix River Visitor Center at (715) 483-2274 or view the list of developed campsites below.
Office of Tourism
State Campgrounds near the Riverway
Wisconsin: Governor Knowles State Forest, Willow River State Park, Wisconsin Interstate State Park
Did You Know?
Water boatmen have no gills but rather trap air with the hairs on their legs and the air bubble encircles their bodies, making them appear shiny. Their front legs are short, their middle legs are long and slender and their back legs are shaped like paddles fringed with hair.