From its origins just north of Solon Springs, the St Croix River flows for 169 miles before joining the Mississippi at Prescott, Wisconsin. For the last 125 miles, it forms the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin. Here, however, we’re most concerned with the upper reaches of the St Croix in Douglas and Burnett Counties.
The St Croix River begins as St Croix Creek, flowing out of a wetland area at the north end of Lake St. Croix. (From the other end of the same wetland, the Brule River flows northward to Lake Superior.) The small town of Solon Spring lies along the lake’s western edge. Besides St Croix Creek, several other small creeks flow into the lake.
At its southern end, the lake narrows down into the St Croix River. The next several miles take you downstream to Gordon, and then across the 1900-acre St Croix Flowage (also known locally as the Gordon Flowage.). A local favorite for fishing, waterfowling, paddling, and pontooning, it can also be accessed from multiple boat landings.
Downstream from the Gordon Dam, you’ll enter the St Croix National Wild and Scenic Riverway. (The Namekagon, which joins the St Croix River some distance downstream from here, is also part of the Wild and Scenic Riverway.) From here, the river becomes much wilder. In spring, when the water is high, some of the rapids can be quite challenging. When the water is lower, paddlers can end up doing a lot of scraping and dragging.
At any time of the year, the Upper St Croix has a remote, wilderness feel. The dam at Gordon is the last one you’ll see until St Croix Falls (those are the only two on the entire river), and you’ll see very few roads or bridges. Nor will you see any homes or cabins along this stretch of river.
The special protections enjoyed by the St Croix River mean there are very few opportunities to actually live on the river. The St Croix does, however, provide the sort of recreational opportunities that draw so many people to this part of the state.
And by the way… Nearly all of the homes and cabins that do exist on the upper St Croix are on Saint Croix Lake, the Gordon Flowage, or the stretch of the river just above Gordon. I feel fortunate to live here on the Gordon Flowage myself, and I’d be glad to show you any of the cabins or lake homes that are currently available in this area.
Looking for a lake home, cabin, or waterfront real estate on the St Croix River? Give me a call at 218-590-6634. Or, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.