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DNR: Severe Flood Damage Keeping Jay Cooke State Park Closed

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Heavy flood damage in northern Minnesota is keeping Jay Cooke State Park closed, the DNR says.

Floodwater washed out sections of Highway 210 and caused mudslides, effectively blocking entry to the park, which is located about 10 miles southwest of Duluth. The DNR says the damage to the park’s campground and buildings was minimal. However, its historic swinging bridge, which stretches over the St. Louis River, sustained severe damage. Water and sewer service also remain unavailable to the park.

If you are curious about the flood damage, the DNR suggests that you view photos at the DNR’s website. Do not go near the closed park, officials urge.

The DNR said the full extent of the damage will not be known until the waters recede.

Flooding has also closed the following parks and trails: the Willard Munger State Trail is closed from Carlton to Duluth; the Savanna Portage State Park’s camper cabin is set to reopen on Thursday; the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area’s mountain bike trails are closed; and the Soo Line and Blind Lake ATV trails in Aitkin County are closed, as are other off-highway vehicle trails and public water accesses in the area.

While the floodwaters have devastated some parks, other parks have gained white-water rivers and waterfalls. Phil Leversedge, the manager of three state parks (Tettegouche, Temperance River and George H. Crosby-Manitou) says now is the time to visit.

“It is a great time to come and see the waterfalls and raging rivers like the Gooseberry and Baptism Rivers,” he said.

All other state parks along the North Shore are open, the DNR said.

For updates on park and trail closures, click here.

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