Spend a winter day exploring Wild River State Park. Hike, ski or snowshoe along the St. Croix River, keep an eye out for trumpeter swans in open water, and stop by the visitor center to check out displays, see live reptiles or attend a naturalist program.
- Call ahead or check the park's events calendar to see if there are any interpretive programs taking place on the day of your visit. (Most programs are 60-90 minutes long.)
- Maple syruping programs begin in late March/early April, depending on the weather.
- Check the latest snow depth and trail conditions report online.
Stop at the park office to pick up a map and get an update on trail conditions or recent wildlife sightings.
Then park at the trail center and hit the trails by cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or hiking. You can bring your own equipment or rent skis and snowshoes at the trail center.
Hiking and snowshoeing
A great trail for beginners is the River Terrace Loop (1.5 miles, ~1 hour). Park at the lot nearest the trail, and hike/snowshoe in a counter-clockwise direction through forest and along the St. Croix River.
- Stop at the Old Nevers Dam interpretive exhibit to learn about the lumber industry in Minnesota.
- Look for trumpeter swans in open sections of the river as you continue along the trail.
Note: Hiking and snowshoeing are not allowed on groomed ski trails.
Beginners can try the River Trail and Old Logging Trail as a loop (2 miles, ~90 minutes), starting from the visitor center.
- The River Trail runs along the St. Croix River and is a great place to spot trumpeter swans.
Note: Skiers age 16 and older must carry a signed ski pass on all groomed state park ski trails. Daily passes are available for sale at the park office.
After spending the morning on the trails, stop at the visitor center to warm up and learn more about Wild River State Park. The visitor center has:
- Interpretive exhibits and displays.
- A bird watching area.
- A large deck overlooking the St. Croix River Valley.
Getting to the park
Wild River State Park is located just an hour north of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, along the St. Croix River. 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.