Kayak or Canoe the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway

People in two canoes paddle and point towards sightings on a river.
Family friendly paddling is found along many river stretches.


The St. Croix and Namekagon rivers offer many paddling options. Choose an easy stretch or one with challenges. Plan a day trip or a multi-day excursion. Find solitude or paddle in a more social setting. Whatever you choose, there are important steps to consider when planning a paddle.


Step 1: Choose a River Stretch


Step 2: Secure Paddle Equipment and Shuttles

  • Oufitters provide equipment and shuttle services throughout the Riverway. Many also provide shuttle services for paddlers with their own equipment.
  • Vehicles can be left in Riverway parking lots overnight, but keep valuables out of sight and remember to bring your keys with you!

Step 3: Get Permits & Find Out About Fees

  • If you are using a landing in a state park, you need a state park entrance sticker unless you are using an outfitter.
  • You will need a camping permit if you plan an overnight stay between Highway 8 and the High Bridge.

Step 4: Pack Your Gear

  • Make sure you have a life jacket for each person. Children under 13 are required to wear one.
  • Bring drinking water, sunscreen, and a small first-aid kit.
  • Water shoes keep your feet safe from fish hooks, glass, and sharp rocks.

Step 5: Check Conditions


Step 6: Take River Safety Seriously

  • A life jacket only works if you are wearing it.
  • Make a trip plan and leave it with someone.
  • Call 911 for emergencies. Cell phone service is spotty on some stretches.
  • If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so responsibly.
  • More safety tips.

Step 7: Stay Healthy

  • Learn about tick borne illnesses and blastomycosis.
  • Poison ivy grows along the Riverway.
  • Don't drink the river water without filtering it first.

Last updated: February 7, 2022

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Mailing Address:

401 North Hamilton Street
St. Croix Falls, WI 54024


715 483-2274

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