Family Weekender: Minneapolis
The canoe can be the ideal family craft-especially on the gently flowing waters of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. The middle reach of the St. Croix, from the put-in point at Wisconsin Highway 35 wayside to the take-out at Minnesota Highway 70, is a 42-mile run through some of the wildest and most beautiful country in central Minnesota. Along the way, there are fantastic camping and picnic spots.
The ideal weekend trip includes an overnight stop at the campgrounds of St. Croix State Park, about halfway through the run. The park's forested hiking and biking trails are a great place to stretch out the family legs and explore the natural world along the riverbank. You can even rent bicycles for the whole crew right there at the park.
The best part for families is that paddling this stretch of the river doesn't require much work, so it's ideal for children (supervised, of course) and beginners. There's one long stretch of Class I and II rapids to thrill the kids (near the confluence with the Kettle River) but otherwise the water leaves plenty of time for gentle paddling and soaking up the scenery. When it's all over, a shuttle can take you back to the car.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication