First time to this park. It’s a nice distance from the cities, not too far. We planned on attending their candlelight ski and decided to camp. The campground was fully reserved but was empty, the low was 10 so people must have bowed out. The campsite was plowed out and had a nice spot for the tent. The sites were far enough apart and it looked like it would be more private when the leaves come in.
The park is huge and beautiful. We snowshoed and skied. I really enjoyed the snowshoe hike along the St Croix River and watched the full moon rise. The ski trails were groomed and there were miles of trails. The candlelight ski was great and the routes were marked with different colored luminaries - for hiking and skiing. We really enjoyed that. Would like to return to explore more of the park.
Best state park
Quiet nice spots
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.