Itasca State Park Re-Opens After Recent Storms

By KBJR News 1

Itasca State Park Re-Opens After Recent Storms

July 4, 2012 Updated Jul 4, 2012 at 5:53 PM CDT

Grand Rapids, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- Itasca State Park is now fully open to visitors after July 2nd's strong storms toppled trees and blocked roadways into the park.

Wilderness Drive and Main Park Drive have both re-opened to motorists.

Officials say that quick work by the Minnesota DNR in their cleanup efforts helped the park to re-open as soon as it did.

Additional cleanup is underway to clear small debris on the Itasca bike trail in the park.

“We’re pleased to say that we are ready for full use,” said Bob Chance, Itasca State Park manager. “Cleanup efforts went extremely well. While some cleanup is still occurring, we are ready to accommodate all visitors who wish to spend the remainder of the Fourth of July holiday in the park.”

Efforts to clear and assess the impact of the storms on other area state trails and state forests in the area are also underway.

La Salle Lake SRA remains closed while crews assess and document the damage.

Efforts to remove fallen trees and debris from the SRA will most likely begin as early as Thursday. No opening date has been determined.

No injuries have been reported, but park visitors are advised to use caution around fallen trees, snags and debris, especially on wilderness hiking trails and other dispersed recreational areas.

The public is also advised to be careful with the current heat conditions and to watch for developing thunderstorms.

Damage to the Douglas Lodge, Brower’s Visitor Center, rental cabins and other park structures appears to be minimal.

Existing camping and lodging reservations are being honored, with the possible exception of one cabin, which is currently being assessed for damage.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns