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Flooding closes campgrounds at two state parks in region

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news Willmar, 56201

Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

ST. PAUL — Heavy rains this week have resulted in the temporary closure of the campgrounds, horse camp and trails at Fort Ridgley State Park near Fairfax and the closure of two campgrounds at the Upper Sioux Agency State Park near Granite Falls.

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Both parks are open for day use and the equestrian campground at Upper Sioux has been reopened following the repair of the entrance road. Additional grading and cleanup work will continue through the weekend there, and although some horse trails are open, they are wet, muddy, and potentially slick, according to the park’s website.

The campgrounds at Fort Ridgley are expected to be closed at least through June 25, according to the DNR.

A notice on Fort Ridgley’s website says even the park’s phone lines are out of order because of flooding.

Joanne Svendsen, assistant park manager at Fort Ridgley, said once floodwaters recede, park staff will evaluate the impact of flooding.

“We hope the campgrounds and horse camp are not closed for long, but much will depend on the weather and condition of the grounds,” Svendsen said.

Campers with reservations at the park through June 25 have been contacted and given refunds.  Additional campers will be notified if the park is closed beyond that date.

Meanwhile, Blue Mounds State Park in Luverne and Franz Jevne State Park on the Canadian border have been totally closed until further notice because of excessive rain and flooding.

The DNR said, however, that most of the 75 state parks are open.

“With some sunshine in the forecast, we hope everyone who has been cooped up indoors this week will take advantage of the nice weather and get out to visit a Minnesota state park or trail,” said Peter Hark, operations manager for the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division.

Hark advises checking the Parks and Trails website at www.mndnr.gov or calling ahead for the most current information before traveling to visit a state park or trail.

Updates and more information on parks can be found at www.mndnr.gov/state_parks.

Also, six parks in Renville County are totally closed until further notice because of the flooding. Earlier this week, some of the parks were partially open.

The closed parks include Anderson Lake, Beaver Falls, Birch Coulee, Mack Lake, Skalbekken and Vicksburg.

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