The Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway has released a preferred option for new facilities at Osceola Landing, the busiest St. Croix River boat landing operated by the National Park Service.
The landing is the take-out point for the popular day trip from Minnesota or Wisconsin Interstate Park through the Dalles. It also provides access for motorized boats and paddlers, as well as picnicking, shore-fishing, and more.
The agency has been working to reconfigure it for several months, seeking to improve traffic flows and increase safety. After offering three different designs last fall and receiving feedback, the Park Service has landed on a final draft.
“The National Park Service was very pleased to hear from members of the community last fall. We’re looking forward to presenting the proposed option and continuing the conversation on how to best meet the goals of this project,” said Julie Galonska, St. Croix National Scenic Riverway superintendent.
Essentially, the new layout would include three different landing and launching areas for three different user groups:
- Existing parking lot and boat launch area – Dedicated to commercial rental and shuttle operators, reconfigured with waiting areas and other facilities.
- New motorized boat launch and parking lot – An existing parking lot just downstream from the current landing will be expanded to offer trailer parking, and a ramp will be constructed for boat launching.
- New non-motorized boat launch – A site for canoes, kayaks, and other nonmotorized craft will be located in Catfish Slough, near the existing beach. Parking will also be expanded.
A public meeting was initially scheduled for March 24 to discuss this version, but subsequently cancelled due to concerns about coronavirus. Public comments can still be submitted online or by mail.
Comments will be accepted through April 13 at this link or by sending comments to Mark Denker, St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, Osceola Landing Project, 401 N. Hamilton Street, St. Croix Falls, WI 54024.
Carolyn Saunders says
I do not like having the non-motorized launch area adjacent to the beach. After a day of sun, fun, and too much drinking on the river, returnees should be separated from families/young children at the beach. I have experiened their rowdyness when they loaded and unloaded along River Street near 4th Ave. Not what families need to experience at the beach!
Greg Seitz says
My understanding is the rentals will still land at the current location. The launch by the beach will be primarily for private watercraft heading downstream. But it’s a good point and I hope you have shared it with the National Park Service.