St. Croix River Canoe Trip
Sep 20-22, 2024

An epic journey awaits us as we canoe 15 miles down the beautiful St. Croix River from Taylors Falls, Minnesota to William O’Brien State Park.  The weather will be cool and the bugs will be almost nonexistent!  The paddling will be moderate since we will be going downstream.  We will be camping two nights on the river and exit at William O’Brien State Park.

**Please note: If river conditions are not acceptable for paddling (i.e. high, fast water), this weekend trip will be converted to state park camping in the same area we would normally canoe. **

We generally leave the Twin Cities area around 9am on Friday and return approximately 3pm on Sunday. Transportation is provided from the Twin Cities to the launch site at Interstate State Park. The drive is about 50 minutes.

Wild Hearts will provide all of the equipment, food and guides.

You are responsible for:

  • Your clothing
  • Personal care items
  • Fishing license and tackle if you desire to fish
  • Getting to pick-up location
  • Adventurous attitude

We will paddle about 4 - 6 miles each day and will camp on islands each night. We like to get into camp before 2pm so that we have time to set up camp and then relax or explore. Some folks will take advatage of the time to do some fishing. The river shores are generally sandy and it is possible to take a dip in the river. We will probably eat dinner around 5:30pm, with your guides doing all the cooking while the participants will be tasked with set up and clean up. The food will be plentiful and delicious! We also provide snacks for your enjoyment throughout the day. For water, we will filter all drinking and cooking water.

We will have the opportunity to have campfires both in the mornings and evenings. At times, we will take advantage of this time together to have conversation as a group.

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Participation packets will be available approximately one month prior to the trip. We will also schedule a group Zoom meeting with participants approximately 2 weeks prior to the trip.


Important stuff will show up here when needed and when available! Check back often if you are going on an adventure with us because there could be some really, super-important stuff here. No, really, it could be the kind of stuff that decides whether you have a great trip or not like... oh, a list of things to pack, for example. That could be crucial. Actually, there's no "could" in that... it's definitely crucial.

Participant Waiver of Liability and Expectations Agreement
This is a required document to be signed by the participant or guardian before your upcoming trip. (.pdf download)

Meet Your Guides

Paul Lanhart

Lead Guide

I started Wild Hearts because of a longing to reach out to those who have struggled with substance abuse and other destructive life choices to help them rebuild relationships with their families and with God. My desire to do this through wilderness experiences comes from a life-long love of the outdoors nurtured by my parents’ many family camping and canoeing trips. I now share this passion with my wife of 40 years, Pam and our four children, Diana, Andy, Jake and Nikki. I am also blessed with 10 grandchildren that I can share the beauty of God’s creation with!

I am an experienced outdoorsman and have led numerous trips to the Rocky Mountains, the BWCA, St. Croix River, the Appalachian Trail and many of our state parks and forests. Along with wilderness adventures, I love kayaking, backpacking, hiking, mountain biking, CrossFit workouts, watching movies and playing the occasional video game.  I am also a commissioned pastor with The River Fellowship.

Jay Larson


Jay came onboard as a guide with Wild Hearts in 2017 and quickly became an invaluable member of the team!  He is an experienced outdoorsman (especially in the art of hammock camping) and a wonderful outdoor cook!  

Jay has tremendous leadership skills which he has used to help shape Wild Hearts Adventures as an organization and his desire to serve people and walk beside them no matter their struggle quickly becomes apparent during our adventures.