By Patricia Emerson @ Minn Historical Society
One of Minnesota’s busiest state parks will be closed Memorial Day weekend and the entire month of June because of flooding and damage.
The winter snowpack and spring rains caused extensive flooding and damage at Fort Snelling State Park, located where the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers come together. It could be closed until sometime in July depending on the weather and progress of repairs.
“We know how eager folks are to get out and enjoy nature now that spring has finally arrived, but making sure the park is safe for staff and park visitors is critical before opening,” Fort Snelling State Park manager Kelli Bruns said.
The park was closed March 25 as river waters began to rise. Continued snow and rain since have kept river waters above normal for months. There are still portions of the park under water, officials noted.
The high waters caused significant damage to Fort Snelling State Park’s main roads, and a water line break in a flooded area cannot support water flow to park offices, Bruns noted. There were downed trees and washed-out trails. A fishing pier ended up on what is now dry land.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources staff continues to assess the damage and is working on cost estimates. Meanwhile, people should not enter the state park while it is closed for their own safety, Bruns said.
Historic Fort Snelling, which sits on a bluff above the park, is still open.
Fort Snelling, which has regularly been Minnesota’s most popular state park through the years, offers trails for hikers and cyclists as well as spots for picnicking, swimming and fishing.
This Article was Originally published by the Pioneer Press.. View Original Post