ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Heavy rainfalls and high water levels are creating problems for boaters and recreational trail users throughout Minnesota.

According to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), rising water levels have washed out roads and trails throughout the state due to nearly 12 inches of rain last week.

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Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, near Ironton, experienced widespread trail closures, but is expected to reopen on Friday.

Scott Kelling of the DNR spoke about his department’s efforts to get trails back in business.

“Crews responded quickly to repair the damaged trails and get riders back on their mountain bikes and enjoying the trail system,” said Kelling.

State parks which are temporary closed include the following:

Fort Snelling State Park — Picnic Island and Pike Island are closed.
Interstate State Park — The campground is closed, and no canoes are being rented.
Wild River State Park — The boat launch is closed, and no canoes are being rented.
William O’Brien State Park — The boat launch and some trails are closed, and no canoes are being rented.

Joel Stedman, regional manager for the Central Region of the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division, spoke of the dangers posed by the recent flooding.

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“The rivers are swollen and people should use extreme caution near the water,” said Stedman.

Some general guidelines for recreating during periods of high water or heavy rains include:

• Be prepared to encounter high water levels at boat landings. Stationary docks may be underwater until crews are able to make adjustments.

• Rising water and rapid currents can create challenging conditions and increase the skill level needed to navigate water trails. Some buoys and markers may have been moved by strong currents.

• Trail conditions for DNR managed trails are updated on the DNR website.

• Forest roads traverse remote areas and damage may not be immediately discovered or repaired. People should not attempt to travel roads that appear to have sustained damage or are soft.

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For more information about conditions, the state’s recreation trail system, public access locations or other recreational resources, click here.