St. Croix State Park

Parks & Geology / Monday, November 5th, 2018

Saint Croix State Park is located on the eastern edge of the Mille Lacs Uplands and borders Chengwatana State Forest to the southwest and Saint Croix State Forest to the northeast.

The largest of Minnesota’s state parks, Saint Croix State Park follows the shore of the St. Croix River and contains the last 7 miles of the Kettle River.

The region was inhabited by the Dakota people by the late 17th century when French traders began exploring the area.

A trading post was established and following an 1837 treaty with the Ojibwe, the region was opened up to logging.

From 1894 to 1898, the Empire Lumber Company operated a rail line, the Flemming Railroad, to transport logs farther inland to the St. Croix River.

The line ended at Yellowbanks where the logs were rolled down the steep bluffs and floated to sawmills downriver.

The area was logged out by 1915 and has since become a favorite place for park enthusiasts due to its location and access to the river, swimming areas, stunning views, and wildlife.

The Willard Munger State Trail passes through the length of the park giving way to extensive trails for cyclists or day-hikers.

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