Camping in Wild River State Park

We decided to join a large group of friends to camp in Wild River State Park over the weekend. This time, we had a total of 6 families occupying 4 campsites. All of us wondered whether the camping trip would be cancelled due to the forecasted all-day rain on Saturday. It vividly reminded us of our very wet camping trip in St Croix State Park 2 years ago. Nevertheless, everyone of us made it there. The temperature hovered between 55F to 80F throughout the trip.

The drive to the Wild River State Park took about 2 hours. We were the first to arrive at 1:30 PM. After setting up the tent and tarp shelter, we hiked the 3.7-mile River Loop trail while waiting for everyone else to arrive. At night, we sat by the fire and chatted with friends until past midnight.

On the first night, loud strange noises echoed loudly in the campground: hooting owls, growling raccoons, howling coyotes and crowing roosters. None of us were brave enough to peek out in the darkness to investigate. All of us played dead. To make the experience even more interesting, the park ranger had warned us before about possible bear sightings in the area. We survived. After having a long breakfast with everyone, we went separate ways to explore the park. We hiked the strenuous 3-mile Highland Hills trail. In the evening, we had an incredible dinner feast: 2 seafood hot pots (one spicy broth and one non-spicy broth), grilled pork chops and chicken chops. The sheer amount of raw ingredients brought in was incredible. After dinner, most families except one other family and us had packed up and left for home at late night due to possible midnight thunderstorm.

At 2 AM, sure enough, we were rudely awakened by a very bright lightning that illuminated the whole dark sky followed by a loud rumbling thunder. It rained heavily. We were too tired to be bothered by the storm and were fast asleep shortly after. By the time we woke up at 6 AM, the rain had stopped. One of the nearby campers told us the lightning struck less than a mile away from the campground. While the wet ground made the packing process rather messy, we were fortunate we didn”t have to hastily pack things up under heavy rain… unlike our camping trip in Itasca State Park.

Overall, it was a very relaxing camping experience. Having to camp once with a few of them before in St Croix State Park, we adjusted our expectations. At the same time, we also made a few new friends in the process.

Appreciating the tranquility and solitude of the River Trail Loop hike.
The Wild River State Park covers 18 miles of the St. Croix River, which is part of the 124-mile St. Croix Scenic Byway.
The entourage before the dinner feast.
Illuminating the darkness with our white teeth… and lamps.
Places we covered in this album.

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