Best of the St. Croix Valley
Stillwater: One of Minnesota’s loveliest towns, Stillwater is rightly one of the state’s most popular destinations. When you’re not shopping for antiques or used books, the town’s two specialties, you can pamper yourself in historic B&Bs and foodie-favorite restaurants.
Interstate State Park: The Dalles of the St. Croix River at the heart of this park has sheer pine-topped cliffs jutting 200 feet straight out of the river. Hundreds of glacially-carved potholes, including the world’s deepest, top the cliffs, and paddlewheel tour boats cruise between them.
St. Croix State Park: This 32,000-acre park, part of the larger St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, offers some of the best paddling in the Midwest. The namesake river, with virtually no development along its 21 parkside miles, is mostly placid; white-water fans can get some in the Kettle River.
North West Company Fur Post: One of the state’s best living-history reenactments takes you back to 1804 at this winter trading post.
Banning State Park: Unknown even to many Minnesotans, Banning straddles a mile-long gorge with rapids and waterfalls at its core. They are easily seen from riverside trails or, for the sufficiently skilled, from a kayak.
Jay Cooke State Park: With yet another wild river gorge, Jay Cooke is another can’t-miss park.
© Tim Bewer from Moon Minnesota, 3rd Edition