Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota’

Jay Cooke State Park, located in northeastern Minnesota, will reopen to the public on Monday, Oct. 22 at 8 a.m., according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The park was closed for four months due to historic flooding that severely damaged highway access to the park in June. Camping will resume and interpretive programs begin Nov. 3, although some trails will remain closed and some portions of the park will be difficult to access during ongoing reconstruction.

Jay Cooke State Park Sign MinnesotaWhen the park reopens, campgrounds and camper cabins will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, and visitors will have access to most recreational trails. The River Inn Interpretive Center, park office and gift store will be open daily from 10 to 4 p.m.

Park staff expects 38 miles of hiking trails to be available on both sides of the river, and 8-10 miles of cross country ski trails to be groomed during the ski season. When fully open, the park offers 50 miles of hiking trails and 32 miles of cross-country ski trails. A map with information about which trails will be open is available on the DNR’s website.

Beginning Nov. 1, reservations will be accepted for camper cabins and advance reservations will be accepted for 2013. Backpack campsite reservations will not be available for 2013 because of limited access to the sites.

“What won’t be available this fall and winter is access across the swinging bridge,” said Park Manager Gary Hoeft. “The bridge needs extensive repairs before it is reopened. In the meantime, access to the trail system on the south side of the park will be limited. Visitors can still access these trails from Highway 23 on the southeast end of the trail network, and there is limited access from the Carlton Trail on the west side.”

The swinging bridge is anticipated to reopen in the late summer of 2013.

The Willard Munger State Trail, a popular multi-use route, requires repairs in 31 locations to stabilize it and to prevent further damage. The 14-mile segment of the trail between west Duluth and Thomson will remain closed until further notice. Trail users are asked to respect the closures and to stay clear of construction activity for their own safety. Initial repairs are anticipated to be completed by Dec. 1 – potentially in time for the winter snowmobile season. Additional repairs will be needed in the spring to restore paved surfaces.

Visitors are encouraged to check the DNR website for public announcements and more information about ongoing repairs to the swinging bridge and the Willard Munger State Trail.

More than 50 miles of paved trail remain open from the city of Thomson south to Hinckley, as well as the six-mile paved Alex Laveau Memorial State Trail from Carlton through Wrenshall.

Visitors must enter the park using the western entrance from Thomson. Motorists should expect possible road construction activities that involve flagging operations on Highway 210 between Thomson and the park headquarters as ongoing highway repairs are made. The Highway 210 entrance through Carlton is closed for repair.

Motorists traveling north on I-35:
Exit I-35 at Exit 242 (Thomson/Esko), turn right (south) on County Road 1, stay on County Road 1 for four miles until reaching Highway 210, turn left on Highway 210 to enter the park.

Motorists traveling south on I-35:
Exit I-35 at Exit 245, turn right on County Highway 61 for four miles until reaching Highway 1 in Esko. Turn left and take Highway 1 south for five miles until reaching Highway 210, turn left on Highway 210 to enter the park.

Established in 1915, Jay Cooke State Park is best known for its iconic swinging bridge, which leads across the thundering St. Louis River. The park also features hardwood forests, a historic cemetery and massive rock formations.

Access to the park, recreational trails and bridges, and water and sanitary sewer services were disrupted when the area was ravaged by historic flooding on June 20. No campground facilities were damaged during the flooding; however, the limited road access and damage to trails prompted evacuation and closure of the park until conditions could be made safe for visitors.

What will be open:

  • Campgrounds and camper cabins will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Most recreational trails will be open.
  • The River Inn Interpretive Center, park office, and gift store will be open daily from 10 to 4.
  • Beginning November 1, reservations will be accepted for camper cabins and advance reservations will be accepted for 2013. No backpack campsite reservations will be available for 2013 due to continued limited access to those sites.
  • Naturalist programs will resume on November 3.

What won’t be open yet:

  • The swinging bridge still needs extensive repairs, and is anticipated to reopen in the late summer of 2013.
  • Some portions of the park will be difficult to access during ongoing reconstruction.
  • Access to the trail system on the south side of the park is limited, due to the bridge’s closure.
  • The Willard Munger State Trail remains closed between Thomson and Duluth until further notice, while 31 locations are stabilized and repaired.

Visitors are encouraged to check the Jay Cooke State Park page for current programs, updated maps and additional visitor information.

Reservations can be made online or by calling 866-857-2757 (TTY: 952-936-4008).

Jay Cooke State Park Sign MinnesotaDespite recent historic flooding in northern Minnesota, almost all tourism businesses in the state are operating at full capacity, although Jay Cooke State Park is currently closed.

Minnesota’s many great resorts and campgrounds just completed a terrific 4th of July week and the Minnesota Resort & Campground Association wants to make sure that people know there are still plenty of openings for the remainder of the summer and into fall. An informal survey of MRCA members shows that many destinations still have vacancies for even peak times.

While the state has seen storm damage around Duluth and more recently in areas around Grand Rapids and Bemidji, almost all tourism businesses in the state are operating at full capacity and are eager to welcome visitors. Some North Shore resorts in particular have been unfairly affected by Duluth flooding.

“Some properties saw numerous cancellations from all the negative news coverage,” said MRCA Executive Vice President Dan McElroy, “but they’re an hour or more away from the affected area.”

MRCA President Tom Kavanaugh (Kavanaugh’s Sylvan Lake Resort, Brainerd) says that the industry is changing.

“While we appreciate advance reservations made several months ahead, the fact is that we’re seeing a lot of short range planning today. That means many resorts and campgrounds often have openings until the last minute so don’t assume that you’re too late to get in at your preferred tourism destination!”

Kavanaugh noted that it’s a fantastic summer to visit a Minnesota resort or campground. “We’ve had wonderful temperatures, the foliage is green and lush and the lakes are warm. We’d love to have people calling us for reservations, even at the last minute, and I’m sure any resort or campground would welcome last minute inquiries!”

Jay Cooke State Park, located about 20 miles south of Duluth, is one of the state parks currently closed due to severe damage caused by flooding in June. The park will remain closed until repairs can be made to State Highway 210, which provides the only vehicle access to the park. All reservations through October 31, 2012 have been cancelled and full refunds are being issued. No new reservations will be taken until further notice.

To help plan your Minnesota resort or campground getaway, visit www.hospitalitymn.com.

A family joke about living in an RV parked in a pole barn has led a Minnesota contractor to come up with a new housing solution for the Oil Patch: an indoor RV park.

Chad Lekander of Mahtowa, Minn., said he was researching possible business opportunities in North Dakota when he remembered his uncle’s idea to put an RV indoors.

Now Lekander has formed B&H Construction Companies with partner Louie Bonneville to construct an RV park about five miles south of Watford City.

The park will consist of 10 buildings to accommodate 240 RVs and will be managed by NETA Property Management of Fargo.

The goal is to provide a safer, more comfortable housing option for oil boom workers who are forced to live in campers because of the housing shortage, said Bill Triebwasser, president NETA Property Management.

“It’s basically care-free RV living,” said Triebwasser, whose company manages 500 apartment units in North Dakota and Minnesota.

The first 48 units will be available July 1, with another 48 opening every month after that, Triebwasser said.

The developers had to work out some safety issues before the health department approved the plans.

The buildings will have drywall partitions inside to prevent fire from spreading. Each building will house 24 campers with each building separated into eight bays.

Each camper will have water and sewer hookups, and the building will have adequate ventilation, Triebwasser said.

The park also will have laundry facilities and a common gathering room.

“We’re trying to provide a healthy, safe environment,” Triebwasser said.

The developers haven’t finalized the rental price, but say it’s going to be less expensive than an apartment in western North Dakota and comparable to outdoor RV parks in the area. Tenants would have to sign 12-month leases.

“We’re not trying to gouge,” Triebwasser said. “We’re trying to offer something that’s obtainable and make people a little more at ease about the living situation.”

When the buildings are no longer needed to house RVs, they would be ideally suited to be storage units, Triebwasser said.

For more information or to make a reservation, contact ndindoorrvpark@gmail.com or call NETA Property Management at (701) 293-7909.

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