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Continued: Rainy, cold spring dampens state park and trail use

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 1, 2013 - 11:54 PM

With 320,000 annual visitors exploring 2,350 rocky, wooded acres, Jay Cooke ranked among the top 10 most-visited state parks until a deluge last summer dumped more than 7 inches of rain and pumped floodwater 6 feet over the 88-year-old swinging bridge, wrenching its cables and decking.

Gooseberry Falls State Park: A main trail near the visitor center is being rebuilt, and the historic dormant log and stone visitor center built by the Civilian Conservation Corps near Hwy. 61 is being restored to preserve it, though its future use is uncertain.

Willard Munger Trail: A segment of the trail from the parking area near Willard Munger Inn to 93rd Avenue in West Duluth is under construction this spring and summer as crews repair damage from last June’s floodwaters.

Bear Head Lake State Park: Using money won in a national best-park contest, a new trail center at this northern park near Ely is expected to be open this summer.

Root River Trail: The 4½-mile segment of the Root River State Trail between Lanesboro and Whalan will be closed for repairs, beginning June 17, and is expected to be completed by July 12.

Gitchi-Gami State Trail: The planned 86-mile trail is being built in phases. A section under construction near Lutsen should be completed in July.

 

Doug Smith • dsmith@startribune.com Twitter: @dougsmithstrib

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  • Interstate State Park near Taylors Falls, shown here on a pleasant summer day in 2006, has seen fewer visitors this spring.

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