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  • Writer's pictureMick McMurray

2 Days at Interstate State Park, 2 Parks in 1

Updated: Jul 17

Interstate State Park

Interstate State Park, located on the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin, is a remarkable natural wonder that showcases the breathtaking beauty of the St. Croix River. Spanning across both states, this unique park is one of the oldest in the region, and its establishment in 1895 was a testament to the early conservation efforts in the United States. We were greeted by dramatic glacial potholes, towering cliffs, and pristine forests. This park straddles the St. Croix River with campgrounds on both sides of the river in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The campground was in a shaded area and close to access to the river. We stayed here for 2 nights.

On the first day, we wanted to kayak on the river and visit 2 States on 1 paddle trip. When we got to the access point we discovered it was the starting point for people to kayak down the river and catch a bus for the trip back. There were a lot of people heading downriver so we decided to go upriver. In fact, we have never seen so many kayaks in one place. It was a harder paddle than we thought but we made it upriver a short distance and drifted back while having a good time. We got to launch the kayaks in Minnesota and paddle over to Wisconsin in just 5 minutes.

Clouds and trees reflected in the river at sunrise
Dawn on the St. Croix River

Kayaks for rent lining the riverbank with a cloudy blue sky
Who's up for kayaking?

Kayaker on the river with the sky and trees reflected in the water
Lorna paddling upriver

Glacial Potholes with green water surrounded by trees and shrubs
Glacial Potholes

On the 2nd day, we drove to Minneapolis to sightsee and spend the day. To see what we did go to "Tourists in Minneapolis"

It was a 4-day, 1200-mile drive with overnight stops in Oxford Iowa, Doniphan NE, and Strasburg CO to our next destination Grand Mesa CO

Lorna's Tips and Lessons

This park was another popular destination for kayaking. In fact, I have never seen as many kayaks in one place as we did here. My tip is to talk to more than one person about kayaking on a river. The advice we received from some local kayakers didn't turn out as expected, but we still had a great time, although we didn't get as far as we had hoped. Another piece of advice I have is to bring some dry bags. I wear a small dry pouch around my waist on short trips and bring a larger dry bag on longer trips. I also like wearing short dive booties on my feet as they provide comfort and protection from whatever may be on the bottom of the water I am kayaking.


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