Heavy rains wash out roads, trails on state land

  • Updated: June 3, 2012 - 2:45 AM
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Maintenance worker Shawn Parks tries to secure a dock that has shifted on its moorings at Gull Lake Resort Tuesday, May 29, 2012. High water on Gull Lake near Nisswa, Minn., from heavy weekend rains and strong current lifted the docks a near the Gull Lake Dam.

Photo: Steve Kohls, Associated Press

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Boaters and mountain bikers beware: The second-wettest May on record in Minnesota has led to washed-out roads and trails in June, as well as rising water levels across the state.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources issued a warning this weekend to boaters, hikers and mountain bikers, cautioning that some forest roads and trails are closed after some areas received more than a foot of rain last week.

In all, more than 9 inches of rain fell in May in Minneapolis.

The downpours led to DNR crews scrambling to quickly repair damaged trails and roads.

As of Saturday, roads and off-road vehicle trails in the Chengwatana, Fond du Lac and Solana state forests were closed. Several state parks remained closed, including Picnic Island and Pike Island at Fort Snelling, the campground at Interstate, the boat launch at Wild River and the boat launch and some trails at William O'Brien.

State park visitors should be prepared for high water levels at boat landings and waterside trails, DNR officials said, and drivers on forest roads should avoid roads that have been washed out or damaged.

There's not a lot of rain in the forecast for the week ahead, though Sunday holds a good chance of showers and thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service in Chanhassen. The rest of the week should be dry.

For updated trail condition reports, go to www.mndnr.gov.

BILL MCAULIFFE and KELLY SMITH

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