Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to make a reservation?
We take reservations for our three campgrounds at Spednic Lake, Scott Brook, and Gravel Island from long weekend in May (Victoria Day) through the long weekend in September (Labour Day).
While you do not need to make a reservation before you arrive, please be aware that these three campgrounds are often booked months in advance and may be full, particularly on weekends and holidays. If you'd like to avoid disappointment, we recommend making a reservation for these sites prior to arriving.
If you plan on staying at our river and lake-only access sites (Canoe In Only) in Maine or New Brunswick, you do not have to make a reservation but these sites are quite often occupied during weekends and holidays. We highly recommend that those looking for a quiet wilderness experience visit during the week.
Do I have to let Customs know that I am going on the water?
In short, yes. You must also begin and end your trip in the same country, without making landfall on the opposite shore.
If you are an American citizen, beginning and ending your trip in the US, follow the instructions on the USBP website. We suggest that you send a trip plan to the nearest US Customs office in advance of your trip, to speed things along. So long as you do not visit a "foreign port," make landfall in Canada, or meet other boats mid-stream, you'll be fine. You can also cross over to Canada and make your trip entirely on the Canadian side.
If you are a Canadian citizen, you can begin and end your trip on Canadian soil or US soil. Before your trip, report to Fosterville, St. Stephen or St. Andrews wharf, or call the Marine Telephone Reporting Centre at 1-888-226-7277. They are going to ask you questions, so be prepared. Visit CBSA's webpage on reporting so you have the information you need.
If you are a frequent boater, we strongly suggest applying for the appropriate program (I-68 or CANPASS) to speed up the process.
We also suggest that you contact the appropriate border agency if you have any questions or concerns about your trip at all. We want you to enjoy the St. Croix, safely and legally.
Can I book a campsite for the whole season?
Yes you can. However, these sites cannot be booked online via our reservation system (as you are limited to 7 day bookings).
For any of our campsites, you will need to call if you would like to book more than 7 nights.
For Seasonal Camping, we have four (4) sites at Spednic Lake Provincial Park. These sites are restricted to #12, 16, 20 and 24.
Rates are as follows:
$400/month for the months of May 1 - 31, June 1-30, July 1-31 or August 1-September 3
$1200/season for the season set out as May 1 - September 3 (Victoria Day to Labour Day)
If you are interested in a long-term booking, please contact our office by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The SCIWC will be making long-term bookings to allocated sites via a draw each year (contact our office for details, or check out our Facebook page).
Those successful in the draw will be notified immediately.
If an allocated site is not booked as a seasonal site, it will become available for daily reservations. This new method of allocating long-term bookings was adopted to create transparency and ensure fairness.
We always have a few drinks on the river, but I've heard that I can be fined for this. Is that true?
Being impaired while in a canoe or kayak is dangerous, and as the St. Croix River is a public place, it is also prohibited by law. We absolutely do NOT condone any consumption of alcohol or drugs while on the River and are not responsible for any related incidents that result.
Impaired operation of a boat is illegal:
It's the holiday weekend. Can I set off fireworks?
All campsites on the St. Croix system are public campsites (state of Maine or province of NB) and it is therefore illegal to set off fireworks from within our parks and campsites.
Why do you charge campsite fees?
The SCIWC is a non-profit organization. We clean up the campsites, maintain the firepits, picnic tables, and toilets. We ensure the campsites are safe, that firewood is available. We keep the riverbanks clean and safe to access. We maintain and provide signs, information on the river, road access, and more.
We also work with provincial and state governments to keep the river open to recreational users. We work hard to ensure that the outstanding water quality of the lakes and river. We help create conservation areas, trails, and heritage information. We work with governments to ensure that you can legally enjoy recreational activities on the lakes and river.
All of this work requires funding, and campsite fees are an important part of that. These fees support the local economy by providing work for our seasonal staff, and contractors with portions of the maintenance work. Without the hard work of our staff, the St. Croix would be a very different place. We thank you for supporting our work through campsite fees, and through donations.
Can I camp on both sides of the river?
No. This is not possible since border policies were updated following 2001 terrorist attacks. The St. Croix River is an international border.
There are ample sites on both sides of the river, and portages on each side, that allow you to make your trip while going to shore only in one country. It is important that you launch, go to shore, camp, portage and take out in the same country only. If you go to shore, you are entering another country and are responsible for reporting to the appropriate Customs authority; failure to do so may result in arrest. The riverbanks and river are patrolled by Customs agents. See our Trip Planning section for information.
I want to reserve a site. How do I do it?
We begin taking reservations approximately a month before our opening date. See the Recreation section for specific dates.
You can reserve sites for the upcoming season in one of three ways:
Call or email our office
Visit our office in St. Stephen or St. Croix
Use our online reservation system
Where can I camp?
The SCIWC maintains over 60 campsites from Monument Brook to the mouth of the river. We suggest you visit our Trip planning section to learn more about which campsites are best for your specific trip.
Do I need to bring my passport?
We strongly recommend that you bring your passport, NEXUS card, or at the very least photo ID. Invest in a waterproof storage container of some kind for your important ID and make sure it is secured to your boat or your person so it won't be lost.
Since 2001 recreational users of the St. Croix are required to practice "One Country Camping." This means you can only land in, and camp in, the country in which you began your trip. See our Planning your trip section or call us for more information.
Can I drive to all the sites?
No. Not all our sites are accessible by vehicle.