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Wild River State Park

Wild River State Park is located along 18 miles of the beautiful St. Croix River. The park attracts people who enjoy camping, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, interpretive programs, self-guided trails, and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Day visitors can enjoy a leisurely paddle down the St. Croix River from the Sunrise river access to the southern park river access.

The park provides opportunities for semi-modern camping, group camping, equestrian camping, backpack camping, and canoe camping. Visitors who want modern amenities can reserve the guest house which provides a living room, dining room, kitchen, and fireplace. The park also has six camping cabins which include bunkbeds, a table, and benches.

An all-season trail center is a great spot to relax after hiking or cross-country skiing on the 35-mile trail system. A visitor center with exhibits and environmental education programs is open year-round.

Tell me more about this park's wildlife, history, geology and landscape.

Visitor Alert!

Winter Trails Update

Wild River received over a foot of snow 11/10. We have had a little bit of light fluffy snow since then. As of 11/21, our current snow pack is around 10". All ski trails have been rolled/packed at least once. We set some track 11/21, and combed the large section of the Advanced Loop also. Skiing should be best Saturday vs. Sunday this weekend.

Overall trails are in fair to good early season condition, with trails in the open in fair to poor condition. We have also cut vegetation on some trail edges, so a few trails will have plant debris until we get more snow.

The Old Logging Trail, River Trail and Mitigwaki Loop were tracked 11/21. The Sunrise Trail was packed 11/20. The Dry Creek Trail, and Deer Creek, Pioneer and Little Advanced loops were packed 11/18.

Snowshoers and winter hikers are welcome on the Amik's Pond, River Terrace or Goose Creek loops only. Watch trail signs for designated uses. Your cooperation is appreciated!

Ski and snowshoe rental will be available at the Trail Center 11/22 beginning at 10 a.m. Park roads and parking lots have been cleared of snow from the November 10 storm. Please use caution as roads remain narrow, and there are rough or slippery sections also. A limited number of electric and non-electric campsites are plowed out and available for winter camping.

Water Off in Campground

The outside water spigots, shower buildings and dump station in the regular campground are closed for the season. Camping is allowed year-round, including electric campsites. There are outhouses in the campground. Water is available on the outside of the office building.

Horse Trails Closed

Horse trails are closed so we can make preparations for the winter ski season. Thanks for another great riding season at Wild River! We'll see you in May.

Using a GPS Unit to Find the Park?

If you are using a GPS unit to direct you to the park, you must type in the park address to get to the park headquarters and main use area. Take exit #147 from I-35. We are located 15 miles east of North Branch off County Road 12.

Campsite Numbers Changed

Campsites in the main campground were renumbered in Spring 2013 (physical site locations are the same). Revised campground map.This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Park Notes

Be fascinated. Check out the naturalist programs and other activities scheduled at the park.

Virtual Tour:

Take a virtual tour. It's a great tool to help you plan your next trip to the park! Panoramic tour | Snapshot tour

Why Visit Wild River State Park?

Listen to a brief overview This link leads to an podcast. of park staff and visitors' favorite features and reasons to visit the park. (MP3, 3.25MB)


Trumpeter Swans
Watch a short video on opportunities to see these impressive birds on your next winter visit to Wild River State Park.

Maple Syruping
Maple Syrup: Sweet and Sustainable This link leads to an external site. This article gives a good peek at real maple syruping.

Teacher Resources

Requested Naturalist Programs Available This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Prairie restoration project at Wild River state park

A Vanished Forest: outdoor exhibit visitors' guide and teaching ideas.

Nevers Dam...The Lumberman's Dam This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. (30 pages, 1 MB) - An illustrated history of a St. Croix River logging era landmark

Geocaching Adventures at the park

Overview of all the geocaching opportunities at the park This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Wild River State Park (Way)Points of Interest This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.
These virtual caches will ensure that you don't miss a thing on your visit to Wild River State Park.
Note: These are virtual caches. There is no physical 'box' at the end.

Wild River State Park History Cache 1 This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.
Discover Wild River State Park's past throughout this extremely advanced puzzle challenge.
Note: This cache is a separate geocache activity for Wild River State Park only.

Gift Cards

Purchase a Minnesota State Parks Gift Card.

Don't move firewood!

Burning non-local firewood can spread invasive species, and it's against Minnesota state law. Learn more. Always buy your firewood at the park, or from an approved local vendor. Find firewood vendors for Wild River State Park.


Bird Checklist This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. at Wild River State Park.

Park Highlights

tree Camping

tree Canoeing

tree Cross-Country Skiing

tree McElroy Visitor Center

tree Nevers Dam Overlook

tree Wildlife/Wildflowers


Best time to contact the park:

Daily, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.


39797 Park Trail
Center City, MN 55012

tel: 651-583-2125
Park Naturalist: 651-583-2925

email: wildriver.statepark@state.mn.us

Getting There

From I-35, take State Highway 95 to County Road 12. Drive 3 miles on County Road 12 to the park entrance.

Do not rely on a GPS unit to find the park's main entrance! GPS units direct you to the geographic center of the park (Sunrise Landing area), not to the main park entrance. Please consult a map or call the office if you need additional driving directions.