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Just shy of the Wisconsin State Line and a couple miles from Carpenter Nature Center, Point Douglas Park sits on the St. Croix River, just above its confluence with the Mississippi River. While this park has no playground equipment, it has other family-friendly amenities, including a beach, picnic area and fishing piers. Less obvious, but just as enjoyable is the fact that it sits across the highway from an active train track - just far enough to enjoy watching the trains go by without the noise disrupting your picnic. It is also situated next to a lift bridge where boat watching is ideal. When your kids tire of that, they can climb along the rocky shoreline or comb the beach for beautiful rocks.
We enjoy this park for short picnic stops on our way to Wisconsin. It has concrete picnic tables where we can set up a small grill and space to dump the hot ashes when we are done. A pop machine is also available, but it is just as easy to shoot into Prescott to grab refreshments there if we have none with us.
Point Douglas Park Beach
This park has a small, unguarded swimming beach. It covers 510 feet of sandy shoreline. Learn more about Washington County Swimming Beaches on their website. For more water fun ideas, read Splash Happy: Twin Cities Guide to Beaches, Pools, Water Parks & Splash Pads.
Point Douglas Park Fishing
The other popular use of this park is fishing. The concrete fishing pier is on the far east side of the park. The Minnesota DNR states that Lake St. Croix hosts 60+ species of fish.
Point Douglas Regional Trail
Point Douglas Regional Trail has recently been made ready for pedestrians and cyclists. Visitors can walk or bike along a 2 1/2 mile segment of the trail along the Mississippi River at the southern tip of Washington County. The trail begins at Point Douglas Park, and extends under Highway 10 on its way to Prescott, Wis., and then runs back west along the backwaters and main channel of the Mississippi River. The mostly-shaded trail provides views of the river, a working railroad track and bluff land.
For now, the trail ends suddenly at Highway 61. However, Washington County plans to build a pedestrian bridge that will connect the trail into Hastings and the Dakota County trails. This final portion should be finished by summer 2018.