Ft. Snelling State Park to remain closed through holiday weekend due to flooding

It’s a holiday weekend and for a lot of Minnesotans, that means a visit to one of the state’s many great parks. But this year, one of the most popular ones will be closed.

There have been a few sunny days, but certainly not enough to dry out a wet and flooded Fort Snelling State Park.

The birds are singing and it’s getting green, but part of spring at Fort Snelling State Park is getting washed out. It’s been closed since mid-March due to flooding from heavy snow and a lot of rain.

“The river crested at a number nine all-time high and due to continued rain events, has remained above flood stage since that time,” said Nick Bartels, the assistant park manager.

The flooded Minnesota River and several lakes in the park have left their mark by drowning out the main road and even carrying portions of it away.

“We’ve also had a water main break due to an exposed section of pipe along the river that supplies water to the main officer here at the park,” said Bartels.

While downed trees are being removed, some of them remain on the trails while other trails are still swamped.

“The water is still over the road to Picnic Island and also is covering the bridge access to Pike Island, so we haven’t been able to do trail assessments. There’s a significant amount of sediment that will need to be removed from the trails.

It’s believed this is the longest closure for Fort Snelling State Park ever.

“We’ve been able to get a lot of work done so far, but we still have a ways to go before we can provide a safe and enjoyable experience for the public.

There is no official date for the park to reopen. The hope is to have it open again sometime in July.