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                                River Home Page
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Mission Statement of Friends of the
                                Snake River
                                the Friends of the Snake River
Watershed Description of the Snake
History of the Snake River
Logging History of the Snake River
Huge Fish from the Snake River
Threats to Preservation of the
                                Snake River
Canoeing Information on the Snake
More Canoeing Information on the
                                Snake River
Celebrations of the Snake River
Links to Related Sites

                of the Snake River


Live webcam feed from the Snake River between the Upper Falls and Lower Falls
Image refreshes every 2 minutes
For recent daily images click this URL:
Snake River Time Lapse
(24 hours, today, yesterday, 1 week, 1 month, 1year)




Mission Statement


Recognizing the outstanding scenic, fishery, wildlife and recreational qualities of the Snake River and its Valley, the mission of the Friends of the Snake River is hereby declared to be the oversight, protection and general stewardship of these qualities in the watercourse, riparian environments and the extended watershed of the River.  We propose to meet these goals through the collection of information, interactive education and jointly conducted programs of challenge and support, pursued by members in cooperation with relevant public agencies and other citizen conservation groups.



USGS Water-data graph



Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Forest Classification and Off Highway Vehicle Road/Trail Designation

for the Snake River State Forest

Effective September 1, 2009, the Snake River State Forest is closed to all motorized traffic, including ATV traffic, as ordered by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Mark Holsten, November 4, 2008.  These lands, including Section 16 of Ford Township,  the Hay-Snake Wildlife Management area and surrounding tax-forfeit lands managed by the DNR will be walk-in only.  Off-road parking is available at the trailheads along the Ford Township  roads east of Woodland.

DNR staff have completed signage for the walk-in trail system.   DNR conservation officers will be educating visitors to the Snake River State Forest about these new land use rules.   




DNR Snake River Website


The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has a website for the Snake River on it's water trails web page.  This website has basic information for canoeists about skills required for different sections of the River, water level reports, maps and a slide show (like ours above) with scenes from different sections of the River.  The map is especially useful.To view this map click on the following link: Canoe Routes Map


Please take our advice following nearly 40 years of salvaging canoeists from this River: Please check the water levels before you launch!  Most of the summer the River is too low to canoe, and believe us canoeing over exposed rocks is no fun.


Welcome to Ford Township


The Snake River State Forest is accessed through Ford Township in the northern part of Kanabec County.  You can learn more about Ford Township by visiting the website.


Check for Snake River water levels


The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports river levels at four locations along the Snake River between Pine City and the Ford Township bridge east of Woodland.  These reports are updated weekly.  They report valuable information for those planning canoeing or boating activities on the River.  Check out the DNR Snake River water level reports,  or check out the USGS gauge at Pine City for up to the minutes reports.




The Snake River is located in east-central Minnesota, between the Twin Cities and Duluth, and is a part of the St. Croix River basin.  The River begins about 6 miles north of McGrath, in the Solana State Forest in southern Aitkin County, and flows 90 miles southward and then eastward, and about 560 feet down to the St. Croix River east of Pine City.  The Snake River and its tributaries drain about 986 square miles of watershed. 

The earliest name for the Snake River was Portage River given by the European fur trappers.  The Mandan Indians were the earliest known inhabitants of the region, followed by the Dakota, who in turn were displaced by the Ojibwe, and eventually by European settlers.

The Snake River has "some of the wilder and more scenic river environment in Minnesota" according to Dr. Thomas Waters, the founder of Friends of the Snake River.  The upper half of the watershed is relatively wild and forest covered.  (See photo above.)  Logging of the high quality stands of white pine in the area began in 1837 and peaked in the 1880's.  The virgin stands of white pine were completely removed and the land transformed by wildfires and clearing.  The replacement forest consists of hardwoods and aspen.  Some of the steepest gradients in the River are found between McGrath and the bridge east of Woodland where the River flows through two granite gorges known as the Upper and Lower Falls of the Snake River.

You can reach Friends of the Snake River by contacting Tom Mortenson at:


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