The Governor Knowles State Forest acts as a resource protection zone for the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. The forest is 55 miles long and up to two miles wide. It encompasses 32,500 acres, of which 19,343 acres are currently state-owned. More than 100,000 acres of county forests and two large wildlife areas, the Fish Lake Wildlife Area and Crex Meadow Wildlife Area, border the forest. The St. Croix River winds the canoeist through a wild and scenic countryside. This is an excellent way to view geologic formations left by two ice ages. Wildlife is the focus of attention for both the hunter and sightseer. Hunters will find whitetail deer, ruffed grouse, black bear, snowshoe hare, squirrel and woodcock on the forest. For visitors more interested in watching wildlife, the varied habitat on the forest afford opportunities to see a wide variety of animals, including sharp-tailed grouse, common yellow throat, bald eagles, pocket gopher, mink and muskrat.