Paddle the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway - Nelsons Landing to Hwy 70

Nelsons Landing - Search Nearby - Added by Eric Pelto

This 11.4 mile section of the St. Croix River makes for an excellent day trip from the Twin Cities. Located in between two state parks, this section sees less traffic as most of the outfitters take-out above Nelson's Landing or put-in below at Wild River State Park.

Start by dropping your shuttle vehicle (car, bike) at the Hwy 70 landing, then head up to Nelson's Landing where you'll be putting in. From Nelson's, start your 11.4 mile paddle down river. The river starts off at a mellow pace before picking up speed for some riffles and small rapids (depending on water level). The rapids aren't much to worry about, the river is so wide that pretty much any straight path through the waves will work. This will set the tone for the rest of the paddle, stretches of calm steady flow interrupted by short, but entertaining, sections of riffles and waves.

If you need a break from paddling, the clear, cool water of the St. Croix River is great for swimming. Look for a sandy island to stop at for a dip and a picnic. Because of the great water quality and abundant cover the smallmouth bass fishing is excellent. Bring along the fly-rod for some added entertainment.

For paddlers looking to turn this day-trip into an overnight, the National Park Service manages canoe-in campsites along the river.

Note: While this river is relatively mellow, paddlers should have proficient skills to navigate small rapids, swift water, and often strong headwinds. Always check water levels before heading out as this river can become very dangerous in high water.


Stand Up Paddle, Canoeing, Fishing, Kayaking, Swimming

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Swimming Hole

Nearby Lodging

Cloquet / Duluth KOA

Cloquet, Minnesota

Hayward KOA

Hayward, Wisconsin

Minneapolis Northwest KOA

Maple Grove, Minnesota

Community Photos

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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