Jay Cooke State Park closed indefinitely

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Because State Highway 210 remains closed due to severe flood damage, The Minnesota DNR announced that Jay Cooke State Park in northeastern Minnesota also will remain closed indefinitely. The highway, which provides the only vehicle access to the park, is impassable due to mudslides and large, washed-out sections.

Damage estimates are not yet available for the park, but the DNR anticipates losing approximately $175,000 in camping and lodging revenue while the park is closed.

Reservations at the park are being canceled through Oct. 31. Full refunds are being issued to customers. No reservations will be taken until further notice.

Jay Cooke State Park is the ninth most visited of Minnesota's 75 state parks and recreation areas. It had more than 302,000 total visitors in 2010 and nearly 35,000 overnight visitors.

Damage to the campground and park buildings was minimal and no one was hurt, but the park's iconic swinging bridge over the St. Louis River was severely damaged. There has also been extensive damage to the park's 50-mile trail system, and water and sewer service remain unavailable.

The Willard Munger State Trail, a popular paved bike route that was severely damaged by the flooding, remains closed between Carlton to Duluth until further notice.

The DNR urges people not to go near Jay Cooke State Park or the closed section of the Willard Munger State Trail, because conditions are still very unsafe.


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