Backpack site Buck Hill is right on the river, beautiful view to the east. Circled by flowers (goldenrod in the late summer), brush and trees. End of the path so zero foot traffic / passersby. Fine size for us but if you had two tents maybe tight. Fire ring and picnic table of course. No drinking water (we brought a bladder). It’s a great place to star gaze. There’s a teeny somewhat treacherous path to the river- no beach or anything (water was super low when we went) - Just can get your feet wet.
Down the path a little bit is an unenclosed toilet - not the best. The other direction down the path (only about 20 ft) is a smallish bear box.
You can harvest your own wood (at this time) and that was really great - bring a backpacking saw!
Only downside to the site— you can hear cars on both sides (river and opposite side of forest).
It was a 2.37 mile walk from the parking lot, mostly shaded.
Side note: we checked out Deer Creek site which is much closer to the car. It is a hike in / canoe site. It’s wayyy more spacious, and even has two separate clearings. Also has cool stairs down the to water, and a much more expansive view of the river. We will be staying there next time! We want to take a few days to canoe the whole length of the park, camping along the different sites. Next year! :)
I’ve camped here on several occasions and have not been disappointed. The group sites are walk ins only. No drive ins/pull through. They are spaced out enough for privacy. The individual sites are decent & drive in. The space between sites are far enough apart. There are a couple of double sites that will accommodate more than 6 people but less than 13. We’ve rented canoes in the past and have enjoyed it primary because of the sandbars, but have not done it recently so I’m not sure if that has changed or not. The mosquitos were bad in late June! Even with bug spray, candles thermacell, etc…we were still under massive attacked. I’ve always enjoyed coming here year after year, not so much because of the park (although it’s nice overall), but because this place holds lots of memories for me.
Wild River was a great campground, and only about an hour drive from the Twin Cities. The sites were nicely shaded and roomy for our tent and screen tent.
There is ample hiking, however due to early spring rains, many of the trails near the St. Croix were flooded, which is pretty typical for the river in the spring. We would have liked a swimming beach for the kids, but they enjoyed exploring the trails, especially the trail with a lookout over the river.
The great thing about June is that the bugs weren't bad at all. We escaped early in the morning due to impending rain, but found a lovely brunch spot on the way back to the cities.
Wild River State Park is my go-to campground since it is within an hour of my home. I make it my first place to camp every season. Love the scenic trails and all the park has to offer. Hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, exploring, informational programs, and the wooded campsites.
I booked this campsite last minute for the weekend because my other campsite was booked. The park had great reviews and looked like a nice area of the state to visit. As you drive to the campground area, you pass signs that state Snake Research Area. I have a fear of snakes, but never thought this would impact my visit. I came across two very large snakes (apx. 4ft long and maybe longer) in the road, having to wait for them to slither across the road. Once I got to my campsite, I was walking with my dog along the perimeter of the campsite and came across multiple snakes of this same size right on the edge of my site! I have been camping many times in many different areas, but this was something that I have never experienced before. I think there should be some sort of disclosure on the state parks' website that snakes of this size are around the campgrounds.
It is a relaxing, semi-modern campground. Very nice trails to hike by the river.
Great trails! Most sites are located along the river. We were at the furthest location called buck hill. About a 2 mile hike from your car. They did give us the option to temporarily park on the hwy to drop our stuff off (yes it's totally cheating but if you were given the option wouldn't you take it?) Then go back and walk it without all of our gear. They allow dogs with us a plus for us. The grounds were all kept very well! Definitely would recommend this location. Only down side is that you are near the hwy and can hear all the cars driving by.
Great, easy-to-access campground and state park. Absolutely beautiful! The park even had free family-friendly archery available while we were there!
I stayed in one of the group sites, and while there were several other groups, the sites are well-spaced enough that the noise wasn't too bad. There are 2 vault toilets available at the group camps, as well as an old-fashioned water pump. Note: the group sites are cart-in ONLY.
Plenty of hiking trails, and there's almost always something scheduled on the weekends for families to enjoy. Highly recommended!
The mosquitos were terrible due to all the rain and there was a threat of bears in campsites to eat food while they humans cooking it. Yes this is all part of nature and so are snakes, but do not go here if you fear snakes. This part is a research area for snakes in Minnesota.. which I wasn't aware of and am terrified of snakes. Probably will try camping and visiting in the winter when 2/3 of these will be minimized greatly. That aside, it was a great quiet park on the river.
This campground is massive! Our campsite was on the farthest loop and was very private! We saw sooooo many deer some even walking right through campsites! You can hear coyotes, raccoons and very loud owls😂
We spent an entire day hiking and it was decent hiking along the river, some of the trails where a little confusing and trying to figure out where we at, but we made it just hiked a little further than we wanted to😂! This seems to be the hot spot for horses and if we go back I definitely want to do the horseback riding right outside the park! DRIVE to the visitors center from the campsites it’s a bit away!
Postives: Very private and remote, Lots of wildlife, friendly staff, okay hiking. The canoe rental place wasn’t open so we can’t comment of water activities!
Negatives: Only one shower house and we had to drive there, the primitive toilet smelled so bad it burned!! It needed to be emptied and wasn’t the entire time we were there. This isn’t a comment on this state park but because we where no where near a real bathroom and we have a toddler who wears a diaper/potty training there are no trash cans in the primitive toilet it could create a problem if you had a little one or if your a women😉
overall it was good camping trip, but if we did come back we would definitely camp closer to the shower house.