The Lower St. Croix Riverway

How Is the Lower St. Croix Riverway Protected? In 1972, the lower St. Croix River became one of our country’s few national Wild and Scenic Rivers. Minnesota and Wisconsin adopted zoning standards for a strip of land along the St. Croix River’s shores. This Riverway overlay zone consists of building restrictions intended to preserve the wild and scenic character of the Lower St. Croix Wild and Scenic River. The riverway regulations are designed to protect water quality, provide habitat for birds, fish, and wildlife, and maintain a relatively unspoiled view for the millions of visitors drawn to the Riverway.

The St. Croix River Association's (SCRA) Land program helps preserve the natural beauty of the Lower St. Croix Riverway through partnerships with local governments, landowners, and realtors. SCRA provides education about the unique protections in the Riverway and vital resources to encourage consistency and transparency of land-use decisions throughout the river corridor. Where Is the Riverway Boundary? The Riverway Boundary spans 52 miles from Taylor’s Falls/St. Croix Falls to Prescott/Hayward. On average, the boundary extends a quarter-mile out from the river’s edge. However, in some places, the boundary is wide, and in other places, the boundary can be very narrow.