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Wild River State Park

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Where to go: FINAL REPORT. Wild River State Park is a beautiful place to see the remaining fall colors. Located just 1 hour from the Twin Cities, it makes for an easy weekday or weekend get-away.

Once you're here, you can't miss seeing the St. Croix River. You can park at the Visitor Center and walk the 1-mile Amik's Pond Trail for a peek at the fall colors on this walk across the prairie, along the river, and under the hardwood canopy. If you'd rather, you can park at the boat landing to eliminate the walk. If you'd like to extend your walk, continue along the River Trail to Nevers Dam and the picnic area.

Wild River State Park is nestled uniquely on the southern edge of the pineland forests, northern edge of the hardwood forests, and because of the river offers beautiful prairie grasslands. These prairies are some of the most spectacular views of the park.

What you'll see: Although fall colors are past peak and more leaves are down, there is still some color out there--you just have to look a little harder. Oak trees turn later than most other trees, so there is still come color among the oaks. Aspen trees are providing the bulk of the yellow hues that remain. The majority of maple trees have lost their leaves, but there are still a few colorful maple trees with yellow, orange or red leaves. Adding to the color display are dogwoods, hazel brush, raspberry leaves and other colorful understory bushes. Check out the park's photo gallery for a recap of this year's fall color season.

Recent rains have led to a growing array of interesting mushrooms and fungi. Acorns are dropping off oak trees, and squirrels are busy gathering their winter cache. Watch your head. The white-tailed deer have already changed from red to their winter coat. It is often that you will catch a glimpse of them during a hike on one of our trails. You may also scare up a ruffed grouse or wild turkeys.

Also of interest: Wild River State Park makes for an easy day trip or offers a variety of camping options. Six camper cabins, a guest house, electric hook-up campsites, group campsites, backpack and canoe-in campsites, and equestrian camping are well-maintained and ready for you and your family or friends. Water has been shut down for the season in the campground, so showers are no longer available. To make a reservation, visit www.stayatmnparks.com.

Canoe rental may be available by advance arrangement with the vendor. People with their own watercraft may still use the river. For more information on canoe rental at Wild River, visit www.ericscanoerental.com.

The Visitor Center is open 9 am - 4 pm Wednesday - Sunday when staff is available. For upcoming programs this fall and winter, visit www.mndnr.gov/wildriver.

There is still room for you in the annual Snowshoe Lacing Workshop! Lace your own Ojibwe-style snowshoes with hands-on instruction during this fun and relaxing two-day workshop. For more details visit www.mndnr.gov/wildriver or call 651-583-2125 x227.

Last updated: November 1, 2013 

Special Offer for Park Permits

Canít decide between a one-day or year-round park permit? The DNR has a special offer that can help. Start by purchasing a one-day permit for $5 and visit as many state parks as possible. After visiting the state parks, trade in the one-day permit by the end of that day and get $5 off the purchase of a year-round permit. Year-round permits, which cost $25, provide unlimited access to all 76 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas for a full year from the month of purchase.
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Getting there

39797 Park Trail
Center City, MN 55012

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.


Phone: 651-583-2125
Park Naturalist: 651-583-2925

Email: wildriver.statepark@state.mn.us

Best time to contact the park:

Daily, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., extended hours on weekends.