The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Parks and Trails creating a new management plan to guide future development and operations at St. Croix State Park.
The management plan will set the direction for the state park for the next 15-20 years and will include recommendations for managing natural and cultural resources and providing recreational and interpretative opportunities to state park visitors.
The public review period for the draft management plan closed on July 7th. The public review period included opportunities for the public to review and comment on the draft plan online and in person at the St. Croix State Park headquarters, the DNR Grand Rapids Regional Headquarters, and at an open house held on June 22nd at the St. Croix Lodge in St. Croix State Park. The DNR is currently reviewing the comments received as it prepares the final version of the management plan.
An open house was held on Thursday June 16th at the park's St. Croix Lodge Visitor Center to start the planning process. If you were not able to attend, some of the maps and other materials from the open house are available for review below.
A Citizen Advisory Committee was formed to help identify issues and consider recommendations for the management plan. The committee met four times the planning process.
The first Citizen Advisory Committee meeting was held on July 13th. Topics from the first meeting included the planning process, an overview of St. Croix State Park, and natural & cultural resources management. The second meeting on August 18th included discussion of interpretive services and overnight facilities. The third meeting on September 15th included discussion on day use facilities, trails, and park boundaries. At the fourth meeting on October 27th, the committee reviewed a draft of the management plan and provided feedback. The agendas, handouts, and presentations from the meetings are available below.
An online questionnaire was available following the open house in June through the creation of the draft plan in October. People could provide input for resource management, interpretation, recreation, and other topics for the management plan.
St. Croix State Park was established as a state park in 1943. It is the largest Minnesota state park, with over 34,000 acres of forests, prairie, wetlands, and river shoreline. Many of the park's buildings and other facilities were designed by the National Park Service and built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The state park has been designated a National Historic Landmark. The park has undertaken significant restoration efforts to recover from the damage of the 2011 windstorm.
The state park has miles of trails for hikers, horseback riders, bicyclists, snowmobilers, and cross-country skiers. Visitors can canoe, boat and fish on the St. Croix River – a National Scenic Riverway - and on the Kettle River - a State Wild and Scenic River. For overnight visitors, the state park includes three campgrounds, a horse campground, group camps, cabins, and three modern group centers. The state park also has a picnic area and swimming beach, and a fire tower open to park visitors. The Matthew Lourey State Trail extends through the park, and is open to hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and snowmobiling within the state park.
Over 272,000 people visited St. Croix State Park in 2015, with more than 40,500 people staying overnight in the park's campgrounds, cabins, group camps, and group centers.
If you would like more information or have questions about this project, please contact:
Jade Templin, AICP
Principal Planner, MNDNR Division of Parks and Trails