Governor Knowles State Forest

Established in 1970 as the St. Croix River State Forest, the forest was re-designated the Governor Knowles State Forest in 1981 to recognize former Governor Warren P. Knowles for his administration’s progress in conservation. Four thousand acres that were donated in 1971 formed the nucleus of the State Forest in those early years. Today, the State Forest is 55 miles long and up to two miles wide, and encompasses 32,500 acres, acting as an extended resource protection zone for the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. A designated wilderness zone buffers the Riverway throughout the length of the State Forest. Six designated State Natural Areas within the forest preserve unique biotic communities. Although a primary State Forest objective is to preserve and protect the St. Croix River and its valley, forest management provides multiple benefits, including scenic beauty, water quality protection, wildlife habitat, forest production, and recreation. Governor Knowles State Forest offers recreational opportunities for everyone. For more information and directions, visit the Governor Knowles State Forest website.


  • Disabled Access
  • Pets Welcome/Inquire


  • Yes


  • Yes

Ski Skating

  • Yes


  • Yes

Campground Type

  • Backpack
  • Horseback
  • RV
  • Tent
  • Group Sites
  • Winter Camping

Publicly Owned

  • Yes

Trail Length (miles)

  • 40

Dumping Station

  • Yes

Camping Hook-ups

  • Electric

Fish Type

  • Lake Trout


  • Yes

Cross-Country Skiing/Snowshoeing Trail Type

  • Groomed
  • Tracked
  • Hilly
  • Wooded
  • Ski Skating


  • Yes

Nature Trails

  • Yes