• Canoeists paddle by tree lined shores

    Saint Croix

    National Scenic Riverway WI,MN

River Levels

A river is the culmination of many smaller streams and brooks, and typically the farther you venture up a river the less water you will encounter. Because of this, upper sections of the rivers can become shallow and paddling conditions poor, even early in the season, without consistent rainfall.

Boaters and paddlers should know their equipment, know their limits, and obtain a current weather forecast before venturing onto the St. Croix or Namekagon Rivers. Respect the ever changing Northwoods environment, as storms and high winds can occur throughout the season. Remember, you are responsible for your own safety. Proper planning and alertness to your surroundings should keep the weather where it belongs-as a topic of conversation, not a cause of harm.

Park staff monitors conditions and updates this information weekly, and at other times if conditions warrant. Condition reports are based on:

  • Volume of river flow in cubic feet per second (cfs) at five electronically monitored locations along the Riverway
  • River level height as observed by park personnel and volunteers at gauges located at County Highway T on the St. Croix River, and Namekagon Dam on the Namekagon River

Using these gauges the following classifications are used to detemine paddling conditions in a given stretch of river during the summer:

  • Unfloatable - water flow is so minimal that paddling a canoe or kayak for any extended distance is impossible; walking and dragging of vessels is required in many areas
  • Challenging - water flow is sufficient that paddling a canoe or kayak is possible, but walking and dragging of vessels will be required in areas
  • Minimally floatable - water flow is sufficient that paddling a canoe or kayak is possible, but walking and dragging of vessels may be needed in areas
  • Floatable - water flow is sufficient to paddle canoes and kayaks; vessels may occionally touch bottom in areas

Note that the reported river conditions are based on water flow on the dates and times listed below. As river conditions can vary greatly due to precipitation and location, river users should consult the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) websites listed below or contact one of the park visitor centers to check current conditions as part of trip planning.

 

NAMEKAGON RIVER CONDITIONS

Updated at 4:00 PM on Friday, September 26

Namekagon Dam to Hayward

USGS gauge at Leonards Bridge: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wi/nwis/uv?site_no=05331833
Namekagon Dam gauge: No recent reading
Water temperature at Leonards Bridge: 61o F
Streamflow at Leonards Bridge: 121 cfs
Namekagon Dam to Highway M: Unfloatable due to low water levels.
Highway M to Hayward: Minimally floatable by canoe and kayak.

Hayward to Trego

Hayward to Earl: Foatable by canoe and kayak.
Earl to Trego: Floatable by canoe and kayak.

County K Landing to Riverside Landing

County K to Namekagon Trail: Floatable by kayak and canoe.
Namekagon Trail to Riverside Landing: Floatable by kayak and canoe.

 

ST. CROIX RIVER CONDITIONS

Updated at 3:45 PM on Friday, September 26

Gordon Dam to Riverside Landing

Gauge at County Highway T: No recent report.
Gordon Dam to CCC Bridge:
Challenging conditions - water flow is sufficient that paddling a canoe or kayak is possible, but walking and dragging of vessels will be required in areas.
C
CC Bridge to Riverside Landing: Floatable by canoe and kayak.

Riverside Landing to Sand Creek Landing

USGS gauge near Danbury, Wisconsin: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=05333500
Water temperature at Danbury, Wisconsin: 66o F
Streamflow at Danbury, Wisconsin:
1,918 cfs
Riverside Landing to Thayers Landing:
Floatable by kayak and canoe.
Thayers Landing to Sand Creek Landing: Floatable by kayak and canoe.

Sand Creek Landing to Highway 70

USACE gauge at Norway Point Landing: http://www.mvp-wc.usace.army.mil/dcp/GTBW3.html
Gauge height: 5.65 feet (3,322 cfs)
Sand Creek Landing to Nelsons Landing: Floatable by kayak and canoe.
N
elsons Landing to Highway 70: Floatable by kayak and canoe.

Highway 70 to U.S. Highway 8

Highway 70 to Sunrise Ferry Landing: Floatable by kayak and canoe.
Sunrise Ferry Landing to Nevers Dam: Floatable by kayak and canoe.
Nevers Dam Landing to St. Croix Falls/Taylors Falls: Floatable by kayak and canoe.

U.S. Highway 8 to Osceola Landing

USGS gauge near St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=05340500
Water temperature at St. Croix Falls: 68o
Streamflow at St. Croix Falls:
4,200 cfs
MN/WI Interstate Parks to Osceola Landing: Floatable by canoe and kayak.

Osceola Landing to Soo Line High Bridge

Osceola Landing to Log House Landing: Floatable by canoe and kayak.
Log House Landing to High Bridge: Floatable by canoe and kayak.

Soo Line High Bridge to Stillwater, Minnesota

USGS gauge near Stillwater, Minnesota: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/mn/nwis/uv?site_no=05341550
Water temperature at Stillwater, MN: 69o F
Gauge height at Stillwater, MN: 675.96 feet above sea level

High Bridge to Stillwater: Floatable by canoe and kayak.

 
 

 

Did You Know?

a face profile seemingly formed by a rock wall

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.