Wild River State Park

In the area

From Explore MN Tourism

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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

Spring Facility Opening Dates

The park's modern campground sanitation buildings, campground water spigots and dump station are open for the season. Semi-modern rates will begin April 21. The horse trails and equestrian campground are also open for the season.

Snake River Forest Campground Opening April 21

The Snake River Forest Campground which is operated by Wild River State Park is opening early this year on April 21. This quiet campground near the Snake River in Chengwatana State Forest outside Pine City features rustic camping in a quiet setting. Campsites are non-reservable and non-electric.

Trail Conditions

Expect typical spring conditions for hiking and horseback riding. Many trail sections are dry, but wooded areas and low spots may be wet or muddy. Please wear appropriate footwear and use caution. There is no trail flooding as of April 19, but if water levels change on the St. Croix River, there is a slight chance of flooding.

Be Wildlife Wise

Wild River is a natural place, so campers are encouraged to take precautions to ensure that unwelcome "guests" like raccoons, bears, squirrels and other wildlife are not attracted to their campsites. This is especially important for backpack campers. Being wildlife wise benefits all campers, and helps keep wildlife wild. Please inquire at the office with any questions or concerns.

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 (39797 Park Trail, Center City, MN 55012). Take exit #147 (Hwy 95) from I-35. We are located 15 miles east of North Branch off County Road 12.

Updated 4-19-17

Park Notes

Winter Day Trip Itinerary:

Only have one day to spend at the park? Let us help you plan it with this winter itinerary.

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.

State Forest Campgrounds:

Wild River State Park also manages the Snake River Forest Campground, located in the Chengwatana State Forest, near Pine City, and is open from early May to late November. No reservations are available for this campground. For information on these units, please contact the Wild River State Park office at (651) 583-2125.

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.