State Forests

St. Croix State Forest


Forest Landscape: The terrain in the forest consists of a series of forested upland islands surrounded by marsh and brush. The Tamarack River flows through the forest, and the St. Croix River flows along a portion of the forest's eastern border.

Management Activities: Timber harvesting, reforestation, wildlife habitat improvement, recreational development, and environmental protection occur in the forest. Various zones within the forest are managed for different purposes. Recreation and environmental protection are major objectives along the rivers, lakes, and trails. Timber management is a primary objective on lands capable of growing vigorous stands of trees. Wildlife management involves improving habitat for white-tailed deer, ruffed grouse, and waterfowl. This includes creating and maintaining numerous forest openings and seeded trails to provide food for many wildlife species. The DNR also protects the forest and surrounding area from wildfires.

History: In the 1800s, logging was the main occupation for the settlers who located in the area of the forest. Millions of board feet of pine logs were floated down the St. Croix River to large sawmills at locations such as Stillwater. Minnesota laws in 1931 established several state forests by legal description only. The St. Croix State Forest was one of these and did not get its name officially in the law books until 1943. Over the years, the Minnesota Legislature enlarged the original forest reserve to its present size of 42,152 acres. The DNR manages 64 percent of the area, with the remaining 36 percent of the land within the forest boundaries being privately owned.

Acres: 42,152

Year Estab: 1943


Rare Species Guide:


A-Z Search