Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
-40.00 ft (-12.19 m)
Trail type
1.00 mi (1.61 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The hike to the Saint Croix Boom Site waterfall is a mile-long out and back trek that follows the Saint Croix River. There are three parking areas for the Saint Croix Boom Site which is located north of Stillwater, Minnesota off highway 95.  Parking for this hike is located at the middle parking area with a historical marker. There are no fees for parking and dogs are allowed on the trail when on a leash.

So, what is a boom? A log boom was used by timber companies as a barrier in the river to collect floating logs that were sent down river by loggers. Logs were sorted here before being sent to saw mills. This particular boom site was in use from 1856 until 1914.

To begin this hike, locate the stairs on the north side of the parking lot. When you reach the riverside take a left and follow an unofficial but well-worn trail. There are some rocks and roots that require your attention along the way but nothing too daunting. As you head north along the river you will be flanked by impressive limestone cliffs on the left. The sad part is these cliffs have been marred by graffiti.  In about a half mile you will find the waterfall. If you're feeling adventurous and sure-footed, it is possible to climb behind the falls. You can also attempt to cross the stream if you want to extend your hike further upstream. When you have finished enjoying the waterfall, head back the way you came. If you go past the stairs a short distance you will find a graffiti filled cave, which you can enter and explore.

Being only about a half hour drive from Saint Paul, this waterfall and the city of Stillwater make for a nice day trip. Also, consider a visit to this waterfall in the winter; it is quite scenic when the falls are frozen.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Waterfall Views. River views.



Trailhead Elevation

720.00 ft (219.46 m)

Highest point

720.00 ft (219.46 m)


Near lake or river
Historically significant
Family friendly

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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