Flooding impacting dozens of parks and recreation areas ahead of holiday weekend

ST. PAUL, Minn. — You might be thinking of spending time outdoors this holiday weekend, but there’s a warning from state officials about the impact of flooding.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reporting dozens of closures in its parks and rec areas, including to trails, beaches and some other amenities. Fort Snelling State Park, however, is the only state park that is fully closed.

“Even with the recent flooding around the state, there are a lot of great opportunities to enjoy the outdoors this 4th of July,” DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen said. “As long as you do a little extra planning, are ready to make adjustments and can be flexible with your plans when you go, you can have a great outdoors experience with your family or friends.”

The DNR’s Recreation Compass is a user-friendly resource to find state, federal and some local public recreation lands. Visitors can also find information about how to make a camping reservation or buy a fishing license and much more on the DNR website.

The DNR offers these guidelines for folks heading out to one of its 64 parks and nine state forests:

  • Don’t travel on flooded roads. Hazards can be hidden under floodwater.
  • Obey road and trail closures and signs. Don’t drive around barricades.
  • Report unsafe state forest road conditions to the local area DNR Forestry office (mndnr.gov/contact/locator.html). Unsafe state trail conditions should be reported to the area Parks and Trails office (mndnr.gov/state_trails/contact.html). Contact information for both can be found on the DNR website (mndnr.gov).
  • Report conditions in state parks directly to the park. Contact information for individual state park websites can be found on the DNR’s list of state parks and recreation areas (mndnr.gov/park-list).

In addition to Fort Snelling, Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park has suspended underground tours until further notice, due to flooding in the mine. However, surface tours have resumed. Blue Mounds State Park, meanwhile, has paused their bison and prairie tours due to wet conditions.

“We want people to know that most state parks and trails will be fully operational over the holiday weekend. And our staff are hard at work addressing flood-affected areas,” said Ann Pierce, director of the Parks and Trails Division. “This is a fluid situation, so our best advice for people is to be sure to check the detailed visitor alerts on the DNR website as they finalize their plans. Also, to stay safe and avoid damaging sensitive resources, we ask folks to observe all closures.”

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