Ideas needed for new riverfront park near Hudson

St. Croix County seeks comments on proposal for a large natural area with a long stretch of river shoreline.

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Bluffs in the area of the new park show the typical undeveloped scenery. (Greg Seitz, St. Croix 360)

Wisconsin officials are requesting public input as they prepare to open up 167 acres of land on the bluffs of the St. Croix River north of Hudson. The property was acquired with mitigation funds from the new Stillwater bridge.

The property, dubbed Eckert Blufflands, is located on the border between North Hudson and St. Joseph’s Township, across the river from Bayport, Minn.

The county purchased two properties in 2015 and 2018 to make the park. It includes about a half-mile of shoreline on the river.

“(It is) just a gorgeous site. It’s stunning,” Community Development Director Ellen Denzer Denzer told the St. Croix County board in 2015. “For those of us who have been out there and walked it, it’s pretty amazing.”

Interactive map of new park property. (Courtesy St. Croix County)

The county recently kicked off the first phase of a park planning process, and is requesting comments and suggestions at this time. Comments so far include requests for wheelchair-accessible trails and cabins, and a disc golf course.

Interested individuals can share ideas on an interactive map of the park, and fill out a short survey.

The county says the park could include scenic overlooks, shoreline access, fishing, picnicking, cabin camping, hiking, snowshoeing, bird watching, hunting and trapping, boat-in access, and other outdoor recreation activities.

Eckert Blufflands will also protect beautiful scenery for boaters and others out on the river.

“Not only is it scenic views from the property out to the river but it’s also got very beautiful views for people who are boating on the river and would enjoy this bluffline,” Denzer said in 2015.

The county also plans to work with the Department of Natural Resources and others to repair gullies that are eroding the bluff and washing excess sediment into the St. Croix River.

Visit the county’s park planning page for more information.


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3 responses to “Ideas needed for new riverfront park near Hudson”

  1. Karen Fleming Avatar
    Karen Fleming

    if possible to also have availability to have a pick-up spot & a drop off for kayaking/tubing from beginning of Holton to lower Afton. Bringing in business to both areas. It’s about time to share the beautiful area & the endless possibilities. Great Job & long over due.

  2. Lauren White Avatar
    Lauren White

    It would be really useful to have a map of plants like berries, mushrooms, leafy greens that can be foraged from the woodsy area. It would be smart to include precautions too so people who are inexperienced won’t fall into foraging look-alike’s. I think this would be useful for those who already know about foraging and a good educational piece for those who aren’t aware the earth provides so many useful things if we look closely!

  3. Sherrie Avatar
    Sherrie

    Our family boated and camped on this land for over 60 years. In 2015 the county told us we could no longer use the land. We kept that stretch of land in pristine shape. Clear of trash and downed trees. Maybe she should walk the beach again, logs and trash infested stretch of beach now. Their is a big difference in 2020. Developing the land would be really sad. How could building cabins preserve the bluff. It should be left in its natural state. Leave the golf and cabins William OBrian state park.

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Ideas needed for new riverfront park near Hudson