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Wild River State Park Camping

Whens The Best Time To Visit Wild River State Park

Minnesota’s Wild River State Park: Spring Creek and Deer Creek Campsites

Open year-round, you can experience Wild River State Park during different seasons. In the summertime, you can spot migratory birds and go paddle boating from Sunrise River to St. Croix River.

In the fall and winter, experience the beauty of the changing colors and crisp, cool weather. You can also go skiing and snowshoeing and live in the visitor guesthouses which are equipped with cozy fireplaces.

Scroll down to find different seasonal activities our Wild River State Park Visitors Guide recommends.

Directions Parking & Regulations

The park office is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are two parking lots. One is near the visitor center, while the other is more northwest at Sunrise Landing. There are hiking trailheads near both parking lots.

There are 8 remote backpacking sites that can be found within the park. One site is as close as ¼-mile from the visitor center parking lot while others require a more adventurous spirit, ranging from 2 miles to over 10 miles . Since there are a lot of interconnected trail loops, it is easy to cater your hike to exactly how long you want.

Wild Rivers Recreation Area

Taos Field Office, Wild Rivers Zimmerman Visitor Center 1120 Cerro Rd.Cerro, NM 87519


The Visitor Center is located in Cerro, NM, at 1120 Cerritos Road . Go north from Questa on NM 522 and turn left on State Road 378 the Visitor Center is about 17 miles from the turn off. The visitor center is open Thursday-Sunday, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Fee Description:

Please see the Fees Section below.

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What Makes It Great

While hiking in Wild River State Park, you will notice that the landscape changes drastically. The park features flat prairies to hilly bluffs to dense hardwood forest. The landscape is so diverse due to the fact that ancient lava flows, drifting glaciers, and glacial flooding occurred here during the most recent ice age. The lava flows exposed basalt bedrock that now forms the towering St. Croix River bluffs the glacial drift etched the lakebeds and river valleys throughout the region and the glacial flooding began the flow of many modern rivers, one being the St. Croix River. As you hike along the 18-mile stretch that lies beside the St. Croix River Valley, look to the exposed grey basalt found in the bluffs.

Though famous for its rewarding views of the St. Croix River, Wild River State Park has great hiking trails through dense stands of hardwood forest. From the parking lot, there are a myriad of trails to choose from. You will notice some of the trails are as wide as 6 feet long, owing to the fact that they were once logging roads. Near the visitor center, there are a few short self-guided loops with interpretive posts along the trail. To the south, there is a 3.5-mile loop that follows the river and then intersects with Deer Creek Loop, which takes you through a hilly ash forest and tranquil lowland meadows.

Wild River State Park Visitors Guide

Wild River State Park, MN

Along the scenic banks of St. Croix River and nestled north of Minnesota lies Wild River State Park. The park is the result of ice-age meltwater that ran through this region, creating the St. Croix Valley. Old basaltic rocks are the foundation of its indigenous vegetation. Let us help you become better acquainted with the area with this Wild River State Park Visitors Guide.

Originally, it was a medley of oak savanna, pinewood, and hardwood forests. Today, its home to conifer and hardwood trees, meadows, an 18-mile river bank, and an abundance of flora and fauna.

Its 35 miles of trails are perfect for hikers. This Wild River State Park Visitors Guide has all the information you need to explore one of the most scenic parks in Minnesota.

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Things To See And Do At Wild River State Park

Stretched across the beautiful St. Croix River, the park offers a plethora of activities with its extensive nature trails, paddle boating, canoeing, cross-country ski trails, horseback riding, bird-watching, and hiking.

Lets take a look at the Wild River State Park Visitors Guide for the most popular attractions.

Point Douglas To Superior Military Road

In the 1850s the federal government began building the Point Douglas to Superior Military Road. Although intended as a highway for troop movement, this route from Hastings, Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin was one of the first roads in the territory and attracted a flood of civilian and commercial traffic. When Minnesota achieved statehood in 1858, responsibility for the road devolved to the state, which did not have the funds to finish the project. Although very rough and in places incomplete, the road was still the best route north until railroads were built in 1870. A 1.2-mile segment was still in evidence when Wild River State Park was established and was incorporated into the park’s trail system. The road segment begins in a clearing just south of Deer Creek and forms the eastern leg of the Deer Creek Loop trail along the St. Croix River. Where the hiking trail veers away to loop back north, the road fragment continues as a maintenance access road for 2,500 feet to the southeastern corner of the park boundary. Traces of the Point Douglas to Superior Military Road can also be seen in Minnesota’s Banning State Park.

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Welcome To Myakka River State Park

The majestic Myakka River flows through 58 square miles of one of Floridas oldest and largest parks.

In a scene reminiscent of what early Native Americans and Spanish explorers witnessed, arching palm trees and live oaks are reflected on a winding tea-colored stream. The cries of limpkins and osprey pierce the air while alligators and turtles sun lazily on logs and riverbanks.

This is the Myakka River, Floridas first state-designated wild and scenic river, and it flows through a vast expanse of unspoiled wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands that make up Myakka River State Park. Boating, fishing, canoeing and kayaking are popular activities on the water while hikers and bicyclists explore miles of trails and backroads.

Take The Windfall Trail

Wild River State Park | Camping with a Grand Design Imagine 2400BH

This park has an interconnected 35-mile trail system. Ranging from easy to difficult, you can find trails for seasoned hikers and trails for the family. The Windfall Trail can be self-guided and is perfect for families and large groups. It is a short trail where the land is mostly flat. There are also river trails that take you along the mesmerizing St. Croix River.

In contrast, the Sunrise Trail is a little more advanced. Fourteen miles long, the Sunrise Trail can take up to four and a half hours to complete! People also enjoy running along the Sunrise Trail.

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Printable Map With Gps Coordinates

6,756 acres statutory, 6,572 owned

Daily from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Black Ash – Seepage Swamp

Dry Sand – Gravel Oak Savanna

Dry Sand – Gravel Prairie

Northern Bulrush – Spikerush Marsh

Red Oak – Basswood Forest

Red Oak – Sugar Maple – Basswood – Forest

Silver Maple – Floodplain Forest

Tamarack Swamp

* Source: The Minnesota Biological Survey, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Ecological Resources
This button not working for you?Simply email us at one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.

Red Oak – Basswood Forest

Paved Part of Mitigwaki Loop

A spring trek into Wild River SP can be exhilarating

Wild River State Park, MN

Wild River State Park Fall 2012Tim Donnel

Fall colors in Wild River State Park, Minnesota.

Images captured on Pentax K-r, Pentax and Sigma lenses, Cokin Filters.

Images edited in Raw Therapee, Corel Paintshop Pro. Slideshow created in Magix Photostory.

Music: Estudios Sencillos XVIII, Ricardo Cobo

Wild River State Park, Minnesotacampsitephotosdotcom

Favorite Sites: 3, 6, 21, 27, 32, 34, 38, 43, 51, 56, 64, 66, 70, 81, 82, 85, 88, 93

Wild River State Park Overview

Wild River State Park Campground has 94 single-family campsites next to the St. Croix River and set in a wooded forest. Campsites can accommodate tents, trailers and RVs . There are also 4 canoe sites, 7 backpack sites, 20 equestrian campsites, 9 group sites and 6 cabins for rent.

The campground has modern restrooms drinking water and a seasonal dump station. Vault toilets are also available in the winter. Each developed campsite has a table, fire ring and grill. Firewood is also available for sale at the campground.

Wild River State Park Area Recreation

Outdoor recreation activities in the area include hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, picnicking and wildlife viewing. In the winter visitors can also enjoy snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

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Wild River State Park

Wild River State Park
Wild River State Park protects shoreline along the St. Croix, a National Wild and Scenic River
Location of Wild River State Park in MinnesotaShow map of MinnesotaWild River State Park Show map of the United States
774 ft
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Point Douglas to Superior Military Road: Deer Creek Section
Park trail following the route of the Point Douglas to Superior Military Road
Minnesota Military Roads, 18501857
NRHP reference No.
Added to NRHP 1991-02-07

Wild River State Park is a state park of Minnesota, United States, curving along 18 miles of the St. Croix River. This long, narrow park is shaped somewhat like a sideways ‘S’, with development largely concentrated in the lower third. The remote upper sections flank the mouth of a tributary called the Sunrise River. The park is managed to provide quieter, more nature-oriented recreation as a counterpoint to the busier William O’Brien and Interstate State Parks downstream.

Wild River State Park is named after the St. Croix’s designation as a National Wild and Scenic River. The park contains the Point Douglas to Superior Military Road: Deer Creek Section, a surviving section of the Point Douglas to Superior Military Road built in 1853, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Sightseeing At The River Shoreline And Boat Landing

Wild River State Park, MN

The banks of the river offer scintillating views of the St. Croix waters. Picturesque overlooks of the river and the soft sounds of lapping water will make you want to relax, perhaps even go fishing. The river access at Sunrise Landing provides river access with boat launch. You can paddle or canoe along the Sunrise River to the St. Croix in the summers.

The Wild Mountain Winery is just a stones throw away. You can sip locally grown and produced wine while viewing the St. Croix River. The Wild Mountain Winery also has events like wine tastings, grape stomps, live concerts, and tours of the winery.

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Visit The Exhibition Room

A quaint and charming room, the exhibition room has libraries overflowing with books, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the wild park, and many displays to read through. Built entirely of wood and stonewall, this is a relaxing room where you can peruse books and spot exotic birds flying around it.

While here, you can also pick up Wild River State Park visitor guides and brochures with information about monthly park events.

Where To Stay Near Wild River State Park

There are plenty of hotels and rooms you can book if youre going to Wild River State Park. But to take full advantage of nature, camping or lodging in the parks cabins are amazing options for accommodation.

The campsites are fully equipped with electricity, seasonal flush toilets, and shower facilities. You can pitch your tents or even bring a trailer. The campsite is also wheelchair accessible.

The cabins boast outdoor cooking areas and rustic architecture if youre looking for a cozy adventure in the woods.

There is also a guesthouse for lodging. Its the perfect intersection between modern and natural life with facilities like private bathrooms, central air conditioning, television, fireplaces, and microwaves.

If youre looking for more comfortable accommodations, the Wild River State Park Visitors Guide highly recommends renting the guesthouse.

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How To Get To Wild River State Park

You can access Wild River State Park 15 miles east of the North Branch of County Road 12s terminus. The park office can be found at 39797 Park Trail in the Center City area. Make sure to take Exit #4 on Highway 95 from I-35.

The Wild River State Park Visitors Guide recommends driving to the park because there are different sights you can enjoy from the comfort of your vehicle.

Wrapping Up Wild River State Park

Wild River State Park Minnesota

From Wild River State Park, you can experience all the beauty that North and South Minnesota have to offer in one awe-inspiring ecosystem. We hope this comprehensive and handy Wild River State Park Visitors Guide has helped you prepare for your next visit.

While youre in the area, check out Interstate State Park its only 15 minutes away!

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