St. Croix River Association Invites Paddlers to Celebrate Five Years of River Exploration

Everyone is welcome on annual six-day, 92-mile trip down the Wild & Scenic Namekagon River.




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Namekagon River in May, 2013 (Photo by Geoffrey Gates)
Namekagon River in May, 2013 (Photo by Geoffrey Gates)

For the fifth consecutive year, the St. Croix River Association is sponsoring a week-long canoe and kayak trip on the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway. This year’s trip will travel 92 miles of the Namekagon River, from Cable to Riverside Landing, June 13-19.

The partially-supported trip offers organized camping and lodging every night, events at overnight stops, daily transportation for gear, educational opportunities on the river, and many more benefits to make it fun and safe for paddlers.

Expect to unplug and reconnect with the natural world,” said Deb Ryun, executive director of the St. Croix River Association and trip-leader. “You’ll challenge yourself, be inspired, and build lasting relationships with a new community of paddlers. Namekagon River communities will welcome you, each sharing their unique personalities. You will explore a national park and see an abundance of wildlife. Every night at camp you can expect to be inspired by educational programs.”

The 2015 paddle will be the fifth year of a tradition started in 2011, when paddlers traveled 17 days down the length of the Riverway to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the St. Croix River Association, the oldest conservation organization in the region. Since then, trips have been held on both the Namekagon and St. Croix Rivers, usually with about 80 paddlers. In the past three years alone, about 300 people altogether have participated, including day-trippers. The youngest participant was 18 months old, and the oldest was 87.

“What began as a ‘simple’ vacation to escape the hectic pace of my work-life evolved into a life-changing experience comprised of environmental awareness, soul searching, beauty, and challenges along the way,” said Mary Bauer, a past paddle participant.

This year’s journey promises a diverse paddling experience. It is primitive and remote, at times very narrow and wild. Other reaches flow through more populated areas. As it nears the confluence of the St. Croix River, it runs wider and slower. The Namekagon River merges with the St. Croix on the final day. The journey will last six days, cover 92 miles, and is perfect for both canoe or kayak.

More information and registration is available on the SCRA Paddles website at, including a typical daily itinerary, a map of the route, and lodging options. The trip is limited to 80 paddlers and usually fills up months in advance.

Local sponsors help make the trip possible. The St. Croix River Association wishes to thank St. Croix Casino – Danbury, the Cable Area Chamber of Commerce, Seeley, Wisconsin, Comfort Suites Hayward, Camp Namekagon, Log Cabin Resort in Trego, and the National Park Service.