National wildlife refuges and wetland management districts offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings. When visiting St. Croix Wetland Management District, you will have the opportunity to experience the sights, sounds and wildlife from a variety of different habitats including wetlands, prairie and oak savanna. District lands are located in St. Croix, Polk, and Dunn counties. The district has something to offer for everyone whether you are interested in harvesting wild game, adding birds to your bird life list or simply burning some calories through hiking and wildlife observation.
We encourage you to explore your public lands through different recreational opportunities such as hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, photography, hiking, cross country skiing and participating in public events hosted by the district and associated partners. Note that although waterfowl production areas don’t typically experience a lot of human traffic, they can get busy during hunting seasons.
The district office is located about two miles west of New Richmond, a quarter mile south of State Highway 64 at 1764 95th Street, New Richmond, Wisconsin 5017.
There is no charge to visit.
Restrooms are available inside the district office.
Points of Interest
Let our staff and volunteers help you plan your visit! The district office is a great starting point for visitors to become more familiar with the district and the wildlife that live here. Visitors can browse wildlife displays and obtain maps and brochures. Be sure to pick up the self-guided auto tour guide that highlights prime birding and hiking spots throughout the district.
The Oak Ridge Waterfowl Production Area ADA accessible viewing platform is an excellent location to score some spectacular views of wetlands and waterfowl. Oak Ridge Lake, found on Oak Ridge Waterfowl Production Area, is recognized as a Wetland Gem by Wisconsin Waterfowl Association. These areas are high quality representations of the critically important habitats that historically made up nearly a quarter of Wisconsin’s landscape. Bring your kayak or canoe for a relaxing day on the water.
The Erickson Waterfowl Production Area ADA accessible blind is available for public use on a first-come, first-serve basis throughout the year. It may, however, be reserved by waterfowl hunters with mobility challenges during any waterfowl season, from September through January. To reserve the blind, contact the district office or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What To Do
If you have 15 minutes
- Stop by the district office to view wildlife collections including “Ducks on a Stick,” skulls and furs. Pick up a self-guided auto tour brochure to help plan your next visit. Pick up your free Blue Goose Passport book and get your St. Croix Wetland Management District stamp!
- Walk the ADA accessible trail to check out the view from the observation and hunting blind overlooking the wetlands at Erickson Waterfowl Production Area.
If you have one hour
- Hike the one mile Prairie Trail at the district office
- Visit the viewing platform on the south end of Oak Ridge Waterfowl Production Area
If you have half a day or more
- Explore your district lands through a variety of different recreational activities including hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, photography and seasonal interpretation programming. Complete a self-guided auto tour guide. Guides and maps available at the district office.
Know Before You Go
When planning a visit to the district, it is important to wear appropriate footwear for hiking and exploring local waterfowl production areas. Consider bringing water, food, binoculars, field guides, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and anything else that might make the outdoor experience more enjoyable. Remember there are no restrooms located on waterfowl production areas.
We encourage visitors to stop by the district office during regular business hours to pick up maps and brochures that may help plan their visit.
Though district lands are open daily, from dawn until dusk for approved activities, birds are more active during the early morning hours from 6:00 to 11:00 a.m., while some mammal species, including deer, are most easily observed feeding near dusk.
Activities available at St. Croix Wetland Management District include hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, interpretation, environmental education and photography. We encourage you to explore and enjoy your local public lands through a variety of different recreational activities.
Open season: Open year round - Walking spring to fall, snow shoeing and cross-country skiing in winter. Not open to biking or horseback riding.
Length: 1.0 miles
Location of trail: District office
Surface: Mowed grass path
Information: The Prairie Trail loop begins and ends near the district office, winding through the prairie located on St. Croix Prairie Waterfowl Production Area.
Erickson blind accessible trail
Open Season: Open year round - Walking spring to fall, snow shoeing and cross-country skiing winter. Not open to horseback riding.
Length: 500 feet
Location of trail: Erickson Waterfowl Production Area
Surface: Crushed, compacted gravel
Information: The accessible trail leads to the observation and hunting blind located on the edge of a wetland.
Other Facilities in the Complex
Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge, a 305-acre refuge located in northern Wisconsin on the shore of Lake Superior in Bayfield County, Wisconsin is part of the St. Croix Wetland Management District complex. The project leader for the district is also the refuge manager for Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge, supervises the single staff person assigned to the refuge that is co-located with other federal and state partners at the David R Obey Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center Ashland, Wisconsin and is also on the Board of Directors for the Center.
Rules and Policies
Waterfowl production areas are open to wildlife-dependent recreation including hunting of deer, upland game and waterfowl, trapping, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, environmental education, interpretation, hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Special rules and regulations apply to some recreational activities. Contact the district office for more information.