A citizen advisory committee, to help with the development of a new management plan for St. Croix State Park, will meet in the visitor center near the park’s campground Wednesday, July 13, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
The committee will help identify issues and review recommendations and proposals for the management plan, which will set the direction for the park for the next 15 to 20 years.
The master plan will include recommendations for managing natural and cultural resources and providing recreational and interpretative opportunities to park visitors.
St. Croix State Park, established in 1943, is the largest Minnesota state park, with more than 34,000 acres of forests, prairie, wetlands and river shoreline. With many of its buildings and other facilities designed by the National Park Service and built by the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps, the park is designated a National Historic Landmark. After a 2011 windstorm caused significant damage, the park has been the focus of numerous restoration efforts.
The park has miles of trails for hikers, horseback riders, bicyclists, snowmobilers and cross-country skiers. Visitors can canoe, boat and fish on the St. Croix River – a National Scenic Riverway – and on the Kettle River, a State Wild and Scenic River.
For overnight visitors, there are three campgrounds, a horse campground, group camps, cabins and three modern group centers. The park also has a picnic area, a swimming beach and a fire tower that visitors can climb for a panoramic view of the surrounding area. The Matthew Lourey State Trail, which winds through the park, is open to hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and snowmobiling.
More than 272,000 people visited St. Croix State Park in 2015 (making it Minnesota’s 10th most visited state park) and more than 40,500 of them stayed overnight. The park is located 20 miles east of Hinckley on state Highway 48. For information about the park, visit mndnr.gov/stcroix.
The committee will meet two or three more times in the coming months. For more information, visit the park planning page (www.dnr.state.mn.us/input/mgmtplans/parks/st_croix.html).