The Source

St. Croix Creek, Headwaters Of the St. Croix River

St. Croix Creek, Headwaters Of the St. Croix River

I reached the source of the St. Croix River in northwest Wisconsin.  Last year I tried twice to reach the source.  The first time I got to the start of the Brule Portage section of the North Country trail after I was already tired out so I didn’t hike very far.  The second time I could find no way to get to the source.  There was a clearly marked side trail to the head of the Bois Brule River but nothing to the St. Croix.  After the second try, I decided that I would come back for another attempt when the snow had melted but there was not yet any foliage in the woods.  I also studied Google Maps and my Delorme Wisconsin Atlas and Gazetteer (page 25 I think.)  I decided that if I parked on the side of Rifle Range Road, a dirt road northeast of Solon Springs, I would be only a few hundred yards from the source of the St. Croix.

I drove, I parked, and I walked in on a trail which shortly ended at the North Country Trail from where I could easily see a small pond.  I knew I was in the right spot because I had seen the pond on Google Maps.  I had been in the same spot last year but had no idea that the pond and St. Croix Creek were only a couple hundred feet away.  The mid-summer foliage completely hid the pond.

I walked to the pond and could see that a small stream choked by fallen logs entered the head of the pond.  The stream was the headwaters of the St. Croix.  I confess that I didn’t get to the literal source.  Walking was like bushwhacking through a jungle.  I didn’t have the energy to go the extra 100, at most, yards that would have put me at the source (water bubbling out of a spring perhaps.)  I can claim that I saw and photographed the headwaters, if not the actual source, of the St. Croix so I consider the expedition a success.

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Filed under Day Trips, Hiking, Photos, Walking

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