Posted at: 10/19/2012 10:23 AM
Updated at: 10/19/2012 10:34 AM
Parts of Jay Cooke State Park will be open to the public Monday, Oct. 22, for the first time since the June 19 floods.
The floodwaters cut through trails in the park, heavily damaged the iconic swinging bridge, and cut gaping holes through Highway 210 in multiple spots, blocking access to the park from both entrances. Enough repair work has been done to the western entrance through Thomson to allow access to the main park office and campground.
The park will be open only for day use for the first couple of weeks. Camping and interpretive programs will resume Nov. 3. Some trails will remain closed and some parts of the park will be difficult to access during reconstruction.
About 38 of the park's 50 miles of hiking trails will be open this fall, and 8 to 10 miles of the park's 32 miles of cross-country ski trails will be groomed during the winter.
Park officials expect the swinging bridge to reopen in the late summer of 2013. Until then, hiking trails south of the bridge can be accessed from Highway 23 on the southeast end of the trail network.
More information on the park reopening can be found at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/jay_cooke/index.html.