Most of us are land dwellers. We have two feet planted on the ground at all times. Having earth beneath us is a great thing. But sometimes you have to leave the ground and see things from a different perspective. That is what I did this past weekend with the Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours.
Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tour
The tour leaves from the intersection of Hwy 8 and Hwy 95. They share an entrance with Interstate Park, just swing a left. They have some additional parking is behind the ticket booth. We loved this spot because we didn’t have to climb a steep walkway to get to the boat. The only thing we would do differently next time is back into our parking spot. Because there will be over a 100 people walking behind your car as they get off the boat.
We got to the Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tour 20 minutes early and found that people were already lining up outside. The boat boards 15 minutes before they take off. Those that waiting in line were hoping to get some of the coveted spots on the front of the boat on the open air portion of the second level. There is no bad seat. It just depends on your preference. We sat under the awning section above. Once the boat ride started, we were warned that the awning only provided protection from the sun. There were rain clouds that loomed above us. We decided to risk it because I love the open air view.
The St. Croix River
The lower section is enclosed and has snacks, soda, wine and beer for sale. We brought some of our own snacks. They allow you to have a picnic on board as long as you didn’t bring any alcohol.
My son could not stop looking at the paddles in the back of the boat. I didn’t fault him at all because they are hypnotic. Along the way, the crew will point out a lot of the famous Minnesota landmarks or rock formations on the St Croix River including the Stone Cross, Lion’s Head, Turk’s Head, and Old Man of the Dells. You have to use your imagination a little to see some of it. They do a good job of explaining what to look at.
What surprised me was how diverse the river is. Normally, we get the perspective from the cliffs in Interstate Park. But when you are on the river, you get to paddle 35 minutes down and see a completely different environment. There is only the small section at the beginning that has the high rocky cliffs. Otherwise, it transitions to sandy beaches and woods.
As we floated down the river, we saw a lot of different paddlers, canoers, and kayakers enjoying the waterways. One interesting part of the river is it’s camping. Along the river, you’ll find different campsites, similar to BWCA designed for paddlers. The Saint Croix River camping is all free. If you are looking for a shorter paddle trip, there are a few outfitters that rent one-way paddle trips including Wild Mountain. They provide transportation back to the rental facility.
The Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours offer 45 and 80 minute daily excursions. These run multiple times during the day. While you don’t have to buy tickets online, I recommend it so they don’t fill up. If you’re looking for the royal treatment, take one of their Dinner Cruises. They are available a few times during the week. Check their schedule to find out more.
You can get tickets a few ways. If you purchase through their website, you’ll guarantee a spot and save $2. Otherwise, you can also buy tickets when you get there. There is also a Groupon running right now for the Taylors Falls Sconce Boat Tours. It’s a great deal, so take advantage of it before they run out. For more great idea’s on your trip to Taylors Falls, check out my weekend itinerary!
Thank You to Taylors Fall Scenic Boat Tours for partnering up with us for this post. We had a great time on the boat. As always, my opinions are my own.