Canoeing the St. Croix River!

Hello everyone! Although today’s adventure is longer, and not as accessible as most of the posts I strive to write, The St. Croix River is too near and dear to my heart to leave out. For a bit of background, I began co-leading overnight canoe trips with Living Waters Camp when I was sixteen, and I’ve been leading trips with them ever since.  Last week I had the pleasure of co-hosting a youth group from a church in Michigan on a three day St. Croix river adventure.

Day 1

The first day was a bit rainy and a little chilly, but it’s always great to be on the river.  Besides, as we agreed that night while sitting around our campfire, it’s the things that don’t go right which tend to be most remembered about a trip.  Chilliness aside, we navigated the “rips” (drops in elevation that create class I rapids) and spotted several bald eagles along our way. That night we made camp and I (as the designated camp cook) made a yummy chicken stir fry that filled our bellies.  You haven’t really cooked for an appreciative audience until you’ve cooked for a gang of hungry people on a wilderness trip! We spotted a moose before the evening set it, which was fantastic. We retired to our tents, and I swear, sleeping on the ground is never so comfortable as after a day of paddling.  (Okay, so I do have a foam pad that I keep under my sleeping bag, but you get the idea.) IMG_5702 IMG_5787 Day 2 The next day warmed up a a bit, and the rain was only scattered.  We did most of our paddling this day, and encountered my favorite part of the trip – Little Falls!  Although Class III rapids are no big deal when you’re white water rafting, they’re quite something when you’re in a canoe!  There was enough water for safe passage, however, and we portaged the supplies (just in case someone happened to dump!) and everyone took their turn running the rapids in emptied canoes. It was great fun to see people walk up the path to their canoe nervous and hesitant, but return from their run full of excitement, triumph, and the urge to do it again. We had a quick lunch there, and then canoed on.  We reached our campsite later that afternoon, and set everything up.  I took a bathing-suit bath in the river here with Dr. Bronner’s biodegradable soap (a staple of wilderness people everywhere) and although the water was cold enough to make me gasp after I went under, it felt amazing to be clean. We had a hot dinner of Mexican rice with tortilla chips, and then we retired to our tents and slept. IMG_5751 IMG_5735 IMG_5773 Day 3 Our last day of canoeing!  After a pancake breakfast, we made it the last few miles this day.  However, just as the last canoe was making it’s way down the last set of rips, we had our greatest excitement of the trip.  That last canoe, on that last set of rips – dumped! (They were so close!)  Not to worry though, they brought their canoe to shore, and I was able to hike up river to meet them, and the two dumpees learned how to empty a canoe full of water while standing in the river! (Hint: it involves a lot of elbow grease!)  Our main trip leader was able to wait at the bottom of the rips with the rest of the group and they gathered the various “yard sale” items as they floated past. The group enjoyed good fishing at our campsite on Loon Bay that night, and we even had a birthday party with cake! IMG_5703 IMG_5803 IMG_5698 Day 4 We packed our gear into the trailer and bid the river goodbye on this, our last day of the trip. It’s always sad to say goodbye after such an amazing experience together, but there’s always next year!! IMG_5784 For more information on the St. Croix River: To sign kids up or schedule your own wilderness adventure:


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Danielle Hines

About Danielle Hines

Hello there! Glad you stopped by. My name is Danielle Hines and I’m a newlywed and a resident of Bangor, Maine. The funny thing about locals is that we rarely seem to find wonder or excitement in the places that surround us. We get caught in the rut of going from home, to work, then home again, etc. We spend months and months planning and saving for vacations to take us away from that very rut. But this is Vacationland!!! We are the destination that so many scheme for months to be able to come to. Behold, I offer you an alternative: why not try adventuring right here in your home state? What better way to spend weekends and days off, than to take a short drive and experience something amazing. So join me! Within the pages of my blog you’ll find date night ideas, quirky shops and stops, outdoor adventures, and unique destinations you never knew Maine had to offer. Grab your coffee and lace up your Bean boots – together we’ll discover and explore this great state of ours.