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Ranger-led paddle programs offered

A paddler enjoys a morning on the river in one of last year's National Park Service Ranger guided program.

Discover firsthand what makes the Namekagon and St. Croix rivers an extraordinary national park. The St. Croix River Association has teamed up with the National Park Service to offer the 2013 Ranger Guided Paddle Series. The on-river paddling programs are designed to inspire, inform and invigorate.

With 14 different half-day trips to choose from, people can explore the rivers that make up the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway in an intimate and safe setting. The programs are wide-ranging and include topics such as migratory birds, fishing techniques, and river history.

Twilight, full moon and river inspired art paddles are featured as well. NPS park rangers familiar with the river and the subject will lead each unique trip. These fully outfitted programs are each limited to eight people.

Now in its second year, the Ranger Guided Paddle Series is a partnership of the SCRA and the NPS.

Deb Ryun, executive director of the SCRA, says the partnership has made it easy for anyone to enjoy the national park right in our backyard.

"People say any day on the river is a good day, and I couldn't agree more", said Ryun. "The 2013 paddle series offers a fantastic opportunity to spend time with NPS rangers not only familiar with the river, but conversant with the program theme."

"My original intent of joining a paddle on the St. Croix River was to relax and enjoy the scenery," said Marilyn Rue, who kayaked last year. "It was so much more. The more beauty and serenity I found on the river, the more I appreciated it and the more I wanted to learn about it. I immediately signed up for three more paddles."

Each paddle costs $30 per person and occurs from May through August. Participants should have previous paddling experience and be 18 years or older. The kayak, paddle, life vest and shuttle service will be provided.

The St. Croix River Association is a non-profit organization located in St. Croix Falls. Its mission is to protect and restore the St. Croix River and its watershed.

For more information, and to register, visit or call 715-483-3300.