Boating

Boats are tied up along a river shore.
The Riverway provides many opportunities for boating including shore camping in some areas.

NPS/Eret

The character of the St. Croix and Namekagon rivers change as they flow downstream, affecting where different types of boats can travel on these rivers. Small boats with shallow drafts can motor on much of the Riverway while larger boats with deep drafts are limited by water levels to areas mostly south of Highway 8 on the St. Croix.

Minnesota and Wisconsin boating laws apply. The Namekagon River and the upper St. Croix are entirely in Wisconsin, while the St. Croix below Riverside Landing is a border river.

Life Jackets
A properly fitting US Coast Guard approved life jacket for each person is required on your vessel. Children under 13 are required to wear a life jacket.

Personal watercraft are prohibited north of Boom Site Landing, near Stillwater, Minnesota on the St. Croix River and on the entire Namekagon River.

See the Superintendents Compendium for specific rules on the Riverway including fishing and camping.
 
Map illustration of the lower St. Croix River

Special Boating Rules South of Highway 8 on the St. Croix River

No Wake:
  • within 100 feet of shore (including the shores of islands) and swimmers, from the sandbars located at mile 31.0 (Apple River confluence) to the confluence of the St. Croix River with the Mississippi River.
  • in areas marked with white regulatory buoys.
  • when the Stillwater gauge reaches 683 feet.
Slow Speed Zone:
  • Definition: operation of a motorboat at a leisurely speed, less than planing speed, whereby the wake or wash created by the motorboat is minimal.
  • No motor boat shall at any time be operated in excess of a slow speed from the dam at Taylors Falls to the sandbars located at mile 31.0 (Apple River confluence).
Personal Watercraft, Waterskiing and Towables:
  • personal watercraft (such as © Jet Skis) are prohibited north of Boom Site Landing (near Stillwater, Minnesota)
  • towing water skiers, tubes, or similar devices is prohibited
  1. north of the Arcola Sandbar, anytime.
  2. between Stillwater and the Arcola Sandbar after noon on Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.
  3. between sunset and sunrise, river-wide.
 

Protect the River

By doing these six things every time you boat or paddle on the Riverway, you can help keep invasive species out of the St. Croix and Namekagon rivers.

Don't

  • bring live crayfish for bait.
  • take minnows or move live fish, plants, or water from the rivers.

Do

  • inspect your equipment and clean plants, animals, and mud from your boat and trailer before and after you are on the river.
  • drain all water from boats, motors and all equipment.
  • dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
  • wash your equipment with hot (>104ºF) water or allow your equipment to dry thoroughly for 5 days.
 
 
Find out more about zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species in this national park.

Last updated: July 3, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

401 North Hamilton Street
St. Croix Falls, WI 54024

Phone:

(715) 483-2274

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