My paddling partner are looking into paddling the headwaters of the St. Croix this spring. Looking for any input as to were to start. And what you should not miss. We are also thinking about starting on the Namakogan and taking that to the St. Croix. We looking at taking out around Danbury or Grantsburg.
The Namekagon just below Hayward to Trego is a fun stretch of water and full of wildlife, and certainly worth considering on your trip, depending on adequate water levels. But then you have 5 miles of no current on Trego Flowage and a dam to portage around to get back on flowing water. Contact the folks at the Namekagon River Visitor Center near Trego to help you decide. This is staffed only seasonally, but the place opens up when paddling season begins.
Paddling the St. Criox
Thanks for the input. How busy does it get on weekends? Are the camping sites used by non paddlers?
Or, start at the top of the saint croix?
Depends on the kind of paddling you’re looking for. You could also start at the top of the saint croix, in Solon Springs. You’d have a little flatwater at the Gordon Flowage, and a short portage around a dam.
Or, you could start at the dam and be in flowing water right away. If you do paddle the stretch below Gordon, you’ll want to watch the water levels. Too low is scratchy, and too high can be some pretty heavy whitewater. This year it’s been dry, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
As far as traffic, it depends on when you go. On warm summer weekends, there’s one short stretch of the Namekagon that has a lot of beer cruisers. It can get pretty crowded. Otherwise, you should have the river pretty much to yourself.
Thanks for the input Al. My partner and I are not afraid of flat water paddling. We are looking forward to the scenery.