Jay Cooke Closed, People Still Going In
Posted at: 09/14/2012 6:18 PM
| Updated at: 09/14/2012 11:06 PM
By: Paige Calhoun
The visitors center and gift shop at Jay Cooke State Park were empty Friday as they should be, because the park is closed. Though park officials said some people aren't getting the message.
"We see a few people coming and going whether they be bicycling or hiking to the park," Gary Hoeft, Park Manager at Jay Cooke State Park said. But they want people to stay out for a reason, safety. June flooding caused extensive damage there, including washed out roads, bridges and trails.
"There's a number of places that the trail is gone, it just ends abruptly with large drops. So the potential for danger is very high," Hoeft said. Plus large equipment has been brought in as crews work to repair the damage, which could also pose hazards. "Closed" signs have been posted at all park entrances, and they note that violaters could be fined up to $500. But that hasn't curbed people's curiosity.
"Most people have seen the signs and they admit to seeing them, but they say well, we just wanted to see what's going on," Hoeft said. He and other park staff have issued verbal warnings, and the DNR has given four written warnings and 3 summons for being in a closed area of the state park. Officials do want to remind people to obey the rules, but if you're one of those people that just can't wait to get in, the wait could soon be over. Crews are working to repair a culvert that runs beneath Highway 210. Once that's complete, Hoeft said the park will re-open. He anticipates that will happen near the end of October.
For more information about progress in Jay Cooke State Park, or on Highway 210 and the Munger Trail, a public meeting will be held on Sept. 24, from 5:30pm-7pm at the Four Seasons Event Center in Carlton.